April Wrap-Up post!

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April has been a quiet month for the most part. I’m still adjusting to medication changes, although that has been slowed down a bit now, so I haven’t felt up to doing much beyond my normal daily stuff. I did go out once this month with my husband, which was fab. We went record shopping on record store day, you can read about that in my weekly wrap-up post from yesterday. My husband collects records in the same way I collect books so our house is getting a bit full with both of our collections but at least we understand each other’s hobby!

In terms of blogging it’s been a good month. I was thrilled to have a few of my reviews from this month move into my most liked posts on my sidebar – and even had the top spot change a couple of times. First SweetPea got there and that was then knocked into the number two spot by See What I Have Done. Yesterday I got a notification telling me that I’d had my most likes in one day ever so that was lovely to read. I don’t obsess over my stats but it’s always nice to have a gauge that my blog is steadily growing as time goes by. I was also thrilled to discover that my review of See What I Have Done has been quoted on the new Lounge Books website, it made my day!

 

Here are the 19 books I read this month:

First Love by Gwendoline Riley

One of Us by Asne Seierstad

Deconstructing Dirty Dancing by Stephen Lee Naish

Good as Gone by Amy Gentry

SweetPea by C.J. Skuse

The Cows by Dawn O’Porter

The Power by Naomi Alderman

The Affair by Amanda Brooke

The People at Number 9 by Felicity Everett

This Love by Dani Atkins

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

No Turning Back by Tracy Buchanan

Luuurve is a Many Trousered Thing by Louise Rennison

He Said / She Said by Erin Kelly

Titanic Lives by Richard Davenport-Hines

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald

Foxlowe by Eleanor Wasserberg

The Wild Air by Rebecca Mascull

April Blog Posts & Reviews

I managed to write and post eight reviews in April, which isn’t quite the three per week I was hoping to achieve but an average of two a week isn’t too bad. I did also post my regular posts: WWW Wednesday, Stacking the Shelves and Weekly Wrap-Up every week, which I’m happy about. Then I was lucky enough to interview two authors for my blog this month, and I got to feature a lovely author’s guest post. So all-in-all I’m happy with how many posts I shared on my blog this month but I would like to try and get some more reviews written and posted in May if I can.

Here are my reviews from April:

Good as Gone by Amy Gentry

Deconstructing Dirty Dancing by Stephen Lee Naish

The Cows by Dawn O’Porter

SweetPea by C.J. Skuse

Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller

The Affair by Amanda Brooke

This Love by Dani Atkins

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

 

Here are the author interviews I was lucky enough to do in April:

Jennifer Gilmour, author of Isolation Junction

Kay Langdale, author of The Comfort of Others

 

I also featured a guest post on my blog in April:

Lynda Renham, author of Remember Me, wrote a guest post about changing genres for her new novel

 

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The state of my TBR:

The state of my TBR is something I’m starting to wish I’d never shared on my blog as every month I’m becoming more aware of how little willpower I have when it comes to books! I started the year with 1885 books on my TBR (these are all books that I own but haven’t read yet) and as of the end of April I now have 1933 unread books! I’m very aware that the number is going in completely the wrong direction but have so far being quite powerless to stop it.

I joined the Mount TBR challenge on Goodreads a little while ago and challenged myself to read at least 100 books that were on my TBR before the start of this year. I began to realise that I would struggle with getting my TBR reduced (although I am still trying to work on that) so am now trying to at least make sure that I’m reading a similar number of books I’ve owned a while to the new books I acquire. I’ve so far read 90 books this year and 41 were on my TBR before the start of 2017 so I’m happy with that ratio and hope to keep it up.

 


 

How was your April? 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. 🙂

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Weekly Wrap-Up (16 April)

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This week has been a tough one for various reasons. It would have been my mum’s birthday this week so I always find that an emotional day. It’s a few years now since my mum died but that wave of grief still catches me unawares sometimes and it’s tough.

I also started some new treatment aimed at helping with my pain. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the treatment but it was certainly much harder than I thought it would be. I’m hopeful that it may help me manage my pain in the longer term though so will definitely be continuing with it. It was exhausting though – I was absolutely shattered for two days afterwards so spent a lot of time just resting and listening to audio books.

This week I’ve finished reading five books:

The People at Number 9 by Felicity Everett

I had a review copy of this to read but I ended up listening to it on audio and really enjoyed it. I hope to get my review written and posted soon.

The Affair by Amanda Brooke

I enjoyed this book – it was different to what I was expecting and kept me hooked all the way through. Hopefully I’ll get my review up in the next week or so.

The Power by Naomi Alderman

This is another book I had a review copy of but I ended up switching to audio part way though. I enjoyed this book but I’m not sure that I would have enjoyed it as much if I was reading it rather than listening. I’ll write my review once I’ve got my thoughts in order.

The Cows by Dawn O’Porter

I loved this book and can’t praise it highly enough. It was such an eye-opening and empowering read. I’ve already reviewed this for the blog tour so you can read my thoughts here if you’d like to.

SweetPea by C.J. Skuse

This is such a brilliant and unique book and I loved it. Rhiannon is such a great character! I highly recommend this book. I’ve reviewed SweetPea this week so you can read that here if you want to know more.

This week I’ve blogged seven times:

Sunday: Weekly Wrap-Up (9 April)

Monday: Review of Deconstructing Dirty Dancing by Stephen Lee Naish

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday

                        Review of The Cows by Dawn O’Porter for the Blog Tour

Thursday: Review of SweetPea by C.J. Skuse

Friday: Review of Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller 

Saturday: Stacking the Shelves

This is what I’m currently reading:

Titanic Lives by Richard Davenport-Hines

I’ve just started listening to this on audio but am finding it interesting so far. At the moment it’s not been hugely focused on the Titanic but it has set the background scene to what happened really well.

The Comfort of Others by Kay Langdale

I received a copy of this in the post on Thursday and started reading it yesterday afternoon. It’s such a lovely novel and I’m very much enjoying it.

He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly

I’ve not managed to read many print or ebooks this week with not feeling great so I’ve not picked this up for a couple of days but from the few chapters I read earlier in the week I am so keen to get back to this book to see what happens. It’s so good!

What I Talk about when I Talk about Running by Haruki Murakami

This is my other current audio book and I’m really enjoying it. There is so much in this book about writing, and about how he came to be a runner and how the two things are linked for him. I’m getting so much out of this book and highly recommend it.

This Love by Dani Atkins

This is a gorgeous book that I’m absolutely loving. I had to put it down for a few days as I’ve been struggling to hold print books this week but I can’t wait to get back to it.

How to Survive a Plague by David France

This book is fascinating. It’s such a moving and powerful book about what happened during the Aids crisis in the 80s. It reminds me of Randy Schilts’ book And the Band Played On. I definitely recommend this 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: 1914

Additions:

Books bought/received for review/gifts: 12

Subtractions:

Books read this week: 5

Books I’m currently reading: 6

TBR Books culled this week: 2

Total:

TBR now stands at: 1929

I have a confession this week about the state of my TBR… the numbers won’t add up properly today because I discovered that I had a few audiobooks and a few books on my Kobo app from a while ago that I hadn’t ever added to my Goodreads and so hadn’t been counted in my TBR. These amounted to 16 books. Oops! So I have 1929 books on my TBR now and that is accurate it’s just that the sum won’t add up properly because of my error.

 


 

I’m linking this post up to Kimberly at Caffeinated Book Reviewer’s Sunday Blog Share.  It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.


 

How has your week been? What have you been reading? Please share in the comments below. If you write a wrap-up on your blog please feel free to share the link. 🙂

#BookReview: Deconstructing Dirty Dancing by Stephen Lee Naish @Zer0Books @steleenaish ‏

Deconstructing Dirty Dancing by Stephen Lee Naish

About the Book

Renowned film critic Roger Ebert said Dirty Dancing “might have been a decent movie if it had allowed itself to be about anything.” In this broadly researched and accessible text, Stephen Lee Naish sets out to deconstruct and unlock a film that has haunted him for decades, and argues that Dirty Dancing, the 1987 sleeper hit about a young middle-class girl who falls for a handsome working-class dance instructor, is actually about everything. The film is a union of history, politics, sixties and eighties culture, era-defining music, class, gender, and race, and of course features one of the best love stories set to film. Using scene-by-scene analyses, personal interpretation, and comparative study, it’s time to take Dirty Dancing out of the corner and place it under the microscope.

My Thoughts

I accidentally ended up with this book from NetGalley and I was in two minds about whether to read it or to just contact the publisher and explain my error. In the end I decided to read it. I think everyone my age will have watched and loved Dirty Dancing when they were around their early teens. I know so many people who still consider this one of their favourite films. It was my favourite feel-good film for many years.

This is a wonderful book for anyone who considers themselves a fan of the film as it really does look at all the key moments, and allows you to re-live them. I liked the descriptions of some of the deleted scenes from the film and the discussion on how they may or may not have added to the storyline had they have been left in – it’s made me want to buy the special edition DVD so I can see those deleted scenes now! Occasionally there are really interesting references to other studies that have discussed Dirty Dancing and I would have loved more of that, but it has led me to look at the bibliography at the back of this book so that I can maybe read more on the subject another time.

I’ve always seen the depth in Dirty Dancing, and assume that most people have – the way the main plot line hinges on Penny’s botched abortion, and the way the politics (and class and race issues) of the time the film was set really did have a huge impact on the story being told. This book considers the themes of the film and how out there it was for the time it was set, and the time it was made. I only wish that there had been more of a discussion about about why no one makes films like Dirty Dancing anymore, and that’s not me being nostalgic, it’s a genuine thing that interests me as to why we don’t have romantic films that look at serious issues in the way that Dirty Dancing did anymore. Now romantic films always seem to be very light and fluffy and while I enjoy them from time to time none of them are all that memorable, whereas Dirty Dancing always feels forward-thinking in the way it tackled big issues.

There is an interesting chapter earlier in the book that compares the themes of Dirty Dancing to those in Blue Velvet and I found that quite fascinating as on the surface I don’t automatically think of these films being in any way similar. I now see the common themes that Naish discussed in the book and it has made me ponder them, and to want to re-watch both films to see what else I may have missed in my previous viewings of them.

Naish also discusses how certain quotes from Dirty Dancing have become part of popular culture now. The way we all quote ‘I carried a watermelon’, for example, as shorthand for the most mortifying things we’ve ever said or done.

I found the author’s analysis of the end of Dirty Dancing utterly fascinating. I’ve watched the film numerous times and I’ve always thought that the ending was just super romantic and a perfect end to the film. Naish considers the idea that the whole ending was just a fantasy that Baby was having, it was what she imagined happened and that really the love story between her and Johnny was over when he left Kellermans earlier in the the film. I actually see that this is entirely plausible and it has made me really think about whether this is more likely than how I’ve always viewed it.

All in all this is an interesting, nostalgic look back on a great film and if you’re a Dirty Dancing fan I think you’ll very much enjoy this book – I definitely recommend it.

Deconstructing Dirty Dancing is due to be published on 28 April.

I received a copy of this book from Zer0Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Weekly Wrap-Up (9 April)

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This week I’ve had a quiet week due to not feeling well so I don’t really have anything news to share on here. So on with the books and stuff…

This week I’ve finished reading 3 books:

Good as Gone by Amy Gentry

I read this book in one sitting last week and very much enjoyed it. It was a gripping read and I recommend it. I reviewed it for the blog tour yesterday so you can read my review here if you’d like to.

Deconstructing Dirty Dancing by Stephen Lee Naish

I wasn’t sure about reading this but I decided to give it a go. It was fairly enjoyable but I’m not sure it’s what I thought it was going to be. I’m planning to review this soon so look out for that.

One of Us by Asne Seierstad

I was struggling to read this book so I bought the audio book this week and found it worked better for me on audio. It’s a really tough subject matter but very well-written. I’m possibly going to write a review on it if I can get my thoughts together.

This week I’ve blogged six times:

Sunday: Weekly Wrap-Up

Monday: March Wrap-Up 

Tuesday: A guest post by author Lynda Renham on changing genre for her new novel, Remember Me

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday post

Saturday: Stacking the Shelves post

                   Review of Good as Gone by Amy Gentry

 

This is what I’m currently reading:

How to Survive a Plague by David France

I started reading this a couple of days ago and am finding it fascinating. It’s a long book so I think it’ll be one I’m reading on and off for a little while but I know it’s going to be a book I get a lot out of.

The Cows by Dawn O’Porter

I’m absolutely loving this book. I’ve very nearly finished it and will really miss it once I have finished it. I’m on the blog tour for this book this week so look out for my review on the 12 April as part of the tour.

Sweet Pea by C.J. Skuse

I finally had the strength in my hands to pick this back up yesterday and I’ve been engrossed in it for much of the weekend so far. It’s such a good read, I recommend it.

The Power by Naomi Alderman

This is my current audio book and I’m not too far off finishing this one either. I love the concept of the novel and I’m enjoying it but it’s not keeping me hooked as much as I thought it would.

 

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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: 1913

Additions:

Books bought/received for review/gifts: 5

Subtractions:

Books read this week: 3

Books I’m currently reading: 4

TBR Books culled this week: 10

Total:

TBR now stands at: 1914

WWW Wednesday (5 April) What are you reading at the moment?

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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:

The Cows by Dawn O’Porter

This is such a great book, I’m really happy to have my reading mojo back after a wobbly few days and to be able to dive straight back into this novel.

The Power by Naomi Alderman

I’m listening to this on audio at the moment and really enjoying it. It really subverts male and female roles, which makes for a thought-provoking read.

Sweet Pea by C.J. Skuse

I’m hoping to be able to finish this book this week. It’s had to be put to one side over the last week or two as I haven’t managed to hold a print book to read but I’m really keen to know how the rest of the novel’s going to go so am going to aim for reading a chapter at a time and see how I cope.

 

What I recently finished reading:

Good as Gone by Amy Gentry

I pretty much read this in one sitting yesterday, it just grabbed me straight away and kept me hooked. I’m on the blog tour for this on Saturday so I’ll be sharing my review then so look out for that.

One of Us by Asne Seierstad

This has been on my currently reading list for a few weeks now but I’ve been struggling to read more serious non-fiction. A couple of days ago I decided to get the audio book version as I thought listening to it might be better for me and I’m glad I did. I finished the second half of the book in just two days. It’s a really hard subject matter but such a well-written book. I originally got a NetGalley copy of this a couple of years ago but I had to DNF it as it wasn’t the right time for me to read it. I then bought my own copy to try again so I’m thinking I may still try and review this.

First Love by Gwendoline Riley

This is such a great read. It’s one of those novels that really got under my skin, and there were parts that made me really uncomfortable and yet I couldn’t stop reading. It’s a book that will really stay with me and I recommend it. I was so pleased that it made the Baileys prize short list this week.

Deconstructing Dirty Dancing by Stephen Lee Naish

I accidentally got this from NetGalley (when I mistakenly clicked on a link in an email from them) and decided I would give it a go. I will review this with it being from NetGalley but I’m not sure that I particularly recommend it as there wasn’t as much analysis of the film as I would have expected.

What I plan on reading next:

Stay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo

I’ve had this on my review book TBR for a couple of months now and just haven’t felt in the right mood to read it. Hearing the buzz around it now it’s made the Baileys short list this week has made me want to read it asap as it does feel like it could be a book that I will love.

How to Survive a Plague by David France

I bought this with my birthday money last month and have been keen to pick it up ever since. I wanted to finish One of Us first though as having two long non-fiction books on the go at once felt a bit daunting. I’m really looking forward to starting this.

 

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 (2 April)

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This week has been a bit rubbish if I’m honest. The effects of reducing my pain meds have really kicked in and I just feel horrid a lot of the time. I was meant to be going to a gig in the week with my husband, and we’d had the tickets for ages, but there was no way I was going to manage it. We stayed in and treated ourselves to a takeaway instead, which was lovely but I still wish we could have gone out.

I’ve barely managed to read anything all week – the two books I have finished are the ones I managed to pick up again just yesterday and were books I’ve been reading on and off for a little while now.

I’m going to be starting a new treatment soon, which is more experimental, but I’m going into it with a positive mindset and am hoping that it helps me.

This week I’ve finished reading two books:

First Love by Gwendoline Riley

I found this to be such a compelling read, it really drew me in. Some of the things that happen hit a nerve with me but it’s so well written that even then I didn’t want to stop reading. I love books that make me uncomfortable but still have me under their spell, and this one was definitely one of those. I definitely recommend this.

Hillsborough Untold by Norman Bettison

I didn’t notice who this book was by when it arrived so it was only when I started reading this that I realised. I wouldn’t have picked this up had I have known but once I had the book I was intrigued to know what he had to say. I do think it’s important to hear all sides but in this case, when the police have been held responsible after so many years, it does feel like there’s nothing more to be heard from them that can add anything. Having said that, I do think it’s wrong that officers can take early retirement in order to get out of facing an investigation into their alleged wrong-doing, and that, because the other officers involved did this, Bettison bore more of the criticism in his career. I wouldn’t recommend this.

This week I’ve blogged seven times:

Sunday: Weekly Wrap-Up post

Monday: Review of Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

Tuesday: Review of The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday post

Thursday: A guest post by Mark Stewart, author of The Absence of Wings, all about how he speaks up for the voiceless in his short story collection

Friday: Review of The Trophy Child by Paula Daly

Saturday: Stacking the Shelves post

 

This is what I’m currently reading:

Good as Gone by Amy Gentry

I just started this book last night and it’s got me hooked already so I reckon, concentration span permitting, that this may be one of those books that I finish in one sitting!

Deconstructing Dirty Dancing by Stephen Lee Naish

This is a really interesting look at the film Dirty Dancing and what the backdrop to the film was in terms of politics of the time it was made, and the time it was set. It’s a short book so I hope to be able to finish it this week.

The Cows by Dawn O’Porter

This is a brilliant novel, I’m really enjoying it. I actually missed this book when I had a few days of not being well enough to read this week so I’m really looking forward to picking it up again.

Sweet Pea by C.J. Skuse

This is such a great read. I’ll be honest and say that I haven’t managed to read anymore of it this week due to lack of concentration but also due to horrible lack of dexterity in my hands meaning print books aren’t the easiest to read at the moment. I’m so keen to see where this story is going though so hopefully I’ll be able to get back to it this week.

One of Us by Asne Serierstad

I’ve managed to read a bit more of this over the last week and am really hoping that my brain power will be back to full(ish) strength soon so that I can finish this book. It’s such an interesting book but I wish I could have managed to read it in fewer sittings.

 

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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: 1895

Additions:

Books bought/received for review/gifts:  23

Subtractions:

Books read this week: 2

Books I’m currently reading: 5

TBR Books culled this week: 0

Total:

TBR now stands at: 1913

 


 

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. I’ll be posting my monthly wrap-up for March on here tomorrow so please look out for that! 🙂

WWW Wednesday (29 March) 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:

First Love by Gwendoline Riley

I started this book yesterday and am finding it an engrossing read. It’s not exactly what I thought it was going to be but it is such a good read so far.

Deconstructing Dirty Dancing by Stephen Lee Naish

I accidentally ended up with this book on NetGalley and wasn’t sure about reading it but decided to give it a go. It’s an interesting look at the movie and I’ve already learnt some things I didn’t know about it (and I was a mega fan back in the day).

The Cows by Dawn O’Porter

I’m enjoying this book so much. It really does look at they way some are treated in society but there is humour there too. I’m excited that I’m on the blog tour for this book and can’t wait to share my thoughts!

The Power by Naomi Alderman

This is my audio book for this week and I’m enjoying it.

Sweet Pea by C.J. Skuse

This is such a great read. The main character is fascinating and has me utterly inrigued. The only reason I haven’t read this in one sitting is because my copy is a large paperback and I’ve been struggling with the dexterity in my hands again this week.

One of Us by Asne Seierstad

I’ve finally got back to reading more of this over the last couple of days. It’s such a horrifying read but so well-written.

What I recently finished reading:

A Portrait of Bowie by Brian Hiatt

This is such a lovely book and I recommend it to all David Bowie fans. It has essays from lots of people who knew with him over the years, and so many gorgeous photos.

Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

This is a heartbreaking but ultimately healing YA book about coping with grief. I reviewed this on my blog yesterday so if you click the title you can read my thoughts there.

Now We Are 40 by Tiffanie Darke

This is a great read for all Generation X-ers – it covers all the good and the not-so-good from the 90s. I very much enjoyed it.

What I plan on reading next:

A Song for Tomorrow by Alice Peterson

I won a giveaway at the end of last week and was sent a stack of gorgeous books, and this was one of them. This sounds like such an incredible novel that I can’t wait to start it. (I’ll be writing about all of the books I won in my Stacking the Shelves post on Saturday or you can see a photo on my Instagram now)

This Love by Dani Atkins

I was sent this for review at the end of last week and I’m so keen to read it as soon as I can so this is also on my TBR for the next few days.

 

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 (25 March)

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Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews, which is all about sharing the books that you’ve acquired in the past week!

 

These are the & eBooks I bought this week:

Substance- Inside New Order by Peter Hook

Substance: Inside New Order by Peter Hook

I’m a huge Joy Division and New Order fan, so can never resist a book about them. This has been on my radar since it was first published so when I spotted it in a kindle daily deal offer this week I snapped it up. It’s a much longer book than I realised so it may be a while before I get a chance to read it but I’m looking forward to it.

Synopsis:

Two acclaimed albums, an upcoming US tour – Joy Division had the world at their feet. Then, on the eve of that tour and the beginning of what would surely have been an international success story, the band’s troubled lead singer, Ian Curtis, killed himself.

‘We didn’t really think about it afterwards. It just sort of happened. One day we were Joy Division, then our lead singer killed himself and the next time we got together, we were a new band…’Peter Hook

That band was New Order.

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Buy Buy Baby by Helen MacKinven

I’ve had this book on my wish list for a while so when I spotted on twitter that it had been made free on Amazon for this weekend I immediately downloaded it. It sounds like such a good read and I can’t wait to start it. I believe the book is free all weekend so it’s worth having a look if you’re in the UK.

Synopsis:

What price tag would you put on a baby?
Set in and around Glasgow, Buy Buy Baby is a moving and funny story of life, loss and longing.
Packed full of bitchy banter, it follows the bittersweet quest of two very different women united by the same desire – they desperately want a baby.
Carol talks to her dog, has an expensive eBay habit and relies on wine to forget she’s no longer a mum following the death of her young son.
Cheeky besom Julia is career-driven and appears to have it all. But after disastrous attempts at internet dating, she feels there is a baby-shaped hole in her life.
In steps Dan, a total charmer with a solution to their problems.
But only if they are willing to pay the price, on every level…

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The Absence of Wings by Mark Stewart

I was contacted by the author about this book and as it sounds like something I’d be interested in reading I downloaded it through my Kindle Unlimited subscription. I’m finding myself drawn to books about the natural world at the moment so I’m looking forward to this one.

Synopsis:

“The Absence of Wings” is a collection of short stories intended to show the world through the eyes of some of the Earth’s most endangered and persecuted animals.

The collection is an ark of sorts, offering a literary refuge for creatures that may one day exist only in story books, fables and myths.

These are stories that will change the way you look at the natural world.

Lost Connections by Jim Ody

Lost Connections by Jim Ody

I got this book when it was a freebie on Amazon this week as it looks like an engrossing mystery novel. I hope to get a chance to read this soon.

Synopsis:

What would you do if the most important person to you had been kidnapped? One minute your daughter is there, and the next she has been bundled into a van right under your nose. They want something of your father’s. You don’t know what that is, and your father mysteriously disappeared over 7 years ago. Going to the police is not an option. And the answers will slowly appear in the most unlikely of places.

As single-parent Eddie’s world falls apart, an unlikely alliance forms between friends and neighbours who put their differences aside, to help get his daughter Daisy back. As the mystery unfolds a huge secret is uncovered that not only will affect Eddie and his family, but the whole of mankind…

Phantom Limb by Lucinda Berry

Phantom Limb by Lucinda Berry

The cover of this book caught my eye when I was looking through the Kindle Unlimited books this week, so I decided to download it. The book sounds intriguing and one that would keep me hooked so I may well pick this one up very soon.

Synopsis:

Emily and Elizabeth spend their childhood locked in a bedroom and terrorized by a mother who drinks too much and disappears for days. The identical twins are rescued by a family determined to be their saviors.

But there’s some horrors love can’t erase…

Elizabeth wakes in a hospital, strapped to her bed and unable to move or speak. The last thing she remembers is finding Emily’s body in their bathroom. Days before, she was falling in love and starting college. Now, she’s surrounded by men who talk to themselves and women who pull out their eyebrows.

As she delves deeper into the mystery surrounding Emily’s death, she discovers shocking secrets and holes in her memory that force her to remember what she’s worked so hard to forget—the beatings, the blood, the special friends. Her life spins out of control at a terrifying speed as she desperately tries to unravel the psychological puzzle of her past before it’s too late.

I also received 8 ARCs:

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Fell by Jenn Ashworth

I’ll be honest here… I actually squealed when this book arrived this week! It’s a book that I’ve heard so many good things about and I’ve been so keen to read it. I’m so excited to read that I may well start it this weekend!

Synopsis:

When Annette Clifford returns to her childhood home on the edge of Morecambe Bay, she despairs: the long-empty house is crumbling, undermined by two voracious sycamores. What she doesn’t realise is that she’s not alone: her arrival has woken the spirits of her parents, who anxiously watch over her, longing to make amends. Because as the past comes back to Jack and Netty, they begin to see the summer of 1963 clearly, when Netty was desperately ill and a stranger moved in. Charismatic, mercurial Timothy Richardson, with his seemingly miraculous powers of healing, who drew all their attention away from Annette… Now, they must try to draw another stranger towards her, one who can rescue her.

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This Love by Dani Atkins

I was contacted by the publisher to ask if I’d like to read and review this and of course I said yes! I read Fractured by Dani Atkins back when it first came out and I loved it so I’m really looking forward to reading this new one by her. I hope to get chance to start reading it next week.

Synopsis:

Sophie stopped believing in happy endings a long time ago, but could this love change all of that?

Sophie Winter lives in a self-imposed cocoon – she’s a single, 31-year-old translator who works from home in her one-bedroom flat. This isn’t really the life she dreamed of, but then Sophie stopped believing in dreams when she was a teenager and tragedy struck her family.

So, to be safe, she keeps everyone at arm’s length. Sophie understands she has a problem, but recognising it and knowing how to fix it are two entirely different things.

One night a serious fire breaks out in the flat below hers. Sophie is trapped in the burning building until a passer-by, Ben, sees her and rescues her.

Suddenly her cocoon is shattered – what will be the consequences of this second life-changing event?

Friend Request by Laura Marshall

Friend Request by Laura Marshall

I requested this on NetGalley and was thrilled when I got approved. The premise for this book sounds so creepy and intriguing. I’m trying to hold off reading this now as it’s not published until later in the year but I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to resist.

Synopsis:

Maria wants to be friends.
But Maria is dead.
Isn’t she?

When Louise Williams receives a message from someone left long in the past, her heart nearly stops.

Maria Weston wants to be friends on Facebook.

Maria Weston has been missing for over twenty-five years. She was last seen the night of a school leavers’ party, and the world believes her to be dead. Particularly Louise, who has lived her adult life with a terrible secret.

As Maria’s messages start to escalate, Louise forces herself to reconnect with the old friends she once tried so hard to impress. Trying to piece together exactly what happened that night, she soon discovers there’s much she didn’t know. The only certainty is that Maria Weston disappeared that night, never to be heard from again – until now. . .

A Book of Untruths by Miranda Doyle

A Book of Untruths by Miranda Doyle

I wished for this book on NetGalley so was very excited when my wish was granted. I’m really intrigued about the way this book is set out, it sounds like a very interesting way to tell your story and that’s what caught my attention with this book. I’m very keen to read this one soon.

Synopsis:

A Book of Untruths is a family story told through a series of lies. Each short chapter features one of these lies and each lie builds to form a picture of a life-Miranda Doyle’s life as she struggles to understand her complicated family and her own place within it.

This is a book about love, family and marriage. It is about the fallibility of human beings and the terrible things we do to one another. It is about the ways we get at-or avoid-the truth. And it is about storytelling itself: how we build a sense of ourselves and our place in the world.

A Book of Untruths is a surprising, shocking and invigorating book that edges towards the truth through an engagement with falsehood. It brings questions to its readers; not answers.

 

Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney

Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney

This is another of my wished for books on NetGalley that got granted this week. It was the cover of this one that caught my eye and then when I read the synopsis I knew I had to read it. 

Synopsis:

Frances is twenty-one years old, cool-headed and darkly observant. A college student in Dublin and aspiring writer, she works at a literary agency by day. At night, she performs spoken word with her best friend Bobbi, who used to be her girlfriend. When they are profiled by Melissa, a well-known journalist, they enter an exotic orbit of beautiful houses, raucous dinner parties and holidays in Provence.

Initially unimpressed, Frances finds herself embroiled in a risky menage a quatre when she begins an affair with Nick, Melissa’s actor husband. Desperate to reconcile herself to the desires and vulnerabilities of her body, Frances’s intellectual certainties begin to yield to something new – a painful and disorienting way of living from moment to moment. But as Frances tries to keep control, her relationships increasingly unspool: with Nick, with her difficult and unhappy father, and finally even with Bobbi.

Written with rare precision and probing intelligence, Conversations with Friends is exquisitely alive to the pleasures and inhibitions of youth.

The Idea of You by Amanda Prowse

The Idea of You by Amanda Prowse

I was pre-approved for this one on NetGalley, which was a lovely surprise. I love the sound of this and really want to read it but it’s a tough subject matter for me so I’m going to wait for the right time to read this one.

Synopsis:

With her fortieth birthday approaching, Lucy Carpenter thinks she finally has it all: a wonderful new husband, Jonah, a successful career and the chance of a precious baby of her own. Life couldn’t be more perfect.

But becoming parents proves much harder to achieve than Lucy and Jonah imagined, and when Jonah’s teenage daughter Camille comes to stay with them, she becomes a constant reminder of what Lucy doesn’t have. Jonah’s love and support are unquestioning, but Lucy’s struggles with work and her own failing dreams begin to take their toll. With Camille’s presence straining the bonds of Lucy’s marriage even further, Lucy suddenly feels herself close to losing everything…

This heart-wrenchingly poignant family drama from bestselling author Amanda Prowse asks the question: in today’s hectic world, what does it mean to be a mother?

Stuff I've Been Feeling Lately by Alicia Cook

Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately by Alicia Cook

This is another NetGalley book where the cover caught my eye first. I’m trying to read more poetry this year and this sounds like a great collection. I think it might be one of those serendipitous happenings where the right book found me at the right time with this one, so I really hope I’m right. 

Synopsis:

Structured like an old-school mix-tape, Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately is Alicia Cook’s lyric message to anyone who has dealt with addiction. “Side A” touches on all aspects of the human condition: life, death, love, trauma, and growth. “Side B” contains haunting black-out remixes of those poems.

Deconstructing Dirty Dancing by Stephen Lee Naish

Deconstructing Dirty Dancing by Stephen Lee Naish

I accidentally ended up with this one from NetGalley – you know when you click a link in an email by accident and the book gets added to your shelf?  The young part of me really wants to read this as Dirty Dancing was one of my favourite films when I was a young teen. The other part of me has personal reasons for not being able to cope with the film anymore. I want to try and read this but I’m on the fence at the moment.

Synopsis:

Renowned film critic Roger Ebert said Dirty Dancing “”might have been a decent movie if it had allowed itself to be about anything.”” In this broadly researched and accessible text, Stephen Lee Naish sets out to deconstruct and unlock a film that has haunted him for decades, and argues that Dirty Dancing, the 1987 sleeper hit about a young middle-class girl who falls for a handsome working-class dance instructor, is actually about everything. The film is a union of history, politics, sixties and eighties culture, era-defining music, class, gender, and race, and of course features one of the best love stories set to film. Using scene-by-scene analyses, personal interpretation, and comparative study, it’s time to take Dirty Dancing out of the corner and place it under the microscope.

I also won a giveaway this week on JaffaReadsToo blog…

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Foxes Unearthed by Lucy Jones

Firstly, hasn’t this book got the most gorgeous cover? It really is a stunning looking book. I’m really interested to read this and to learn move about foxes, so hopefully I’ll be able to read it very soon.

Synopsis:

As one of the largest predators left in Britain, the fox is captivating: a comfortably familiar figure in our country landscapes; an intriguing flash of bright-eyed wildness in our towns.

Yet no other animal attracts such controversy, has provoked more column inches or been so ambiguously woven into our culture over centuries, perceived variously as a beautiful animal, a cunning rogue, a vicious pest and a worthy foe. As well as being the most ubiquitous of wild animals, it is also the least understood.

In Foxes Unearthed Lucy Jones investigates the truth about foxes in a media landscape that often carries complex agendas. Delving into fact, fiction, folklore and her own family history, Lucy travels the length of Britain to find out first-hand why these animals incite such passionate emotions, revealing our rich and complex relationship with one of our most loved – and most vilified – wild animals. This compelling narrative adds much-needed depth to the debate on foxes, asking what our attitudes towards the red fox say about us – and, ultimately, about our relationship with the natural world.

 


 

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.