That Was The Month That Was… April 2020!

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

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

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

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

Here are the books I read in April:

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

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

Strangers by C. L. Taylor

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

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

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

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

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

The Last Flight by Julie Clark

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

The Secrets of Strangers by Charity Norman

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

The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton

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

The Trap by Melanie Raabe

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

Adele by Leila Slimani

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

 

April Blog Posts & Reviews:

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

 

 

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

What was your favourite book of the month? Please tell me in the comments, I’d love to know.

Also, if you have a blog please feel free to leave a link to your April wrap-up post and I’ll be sure to read. 🙂

Strangers by C. L. Taylor | @CallyTaylor @AvonBooksUK #DontTalkToStrangers

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Ursula, Gareth and Alice have never met before.

Ursula thinks she killed the love of her life.
Gareth’s been receiving strange postcards.
And Alice is being stalked.

None of them are used to relying on others – but when the three strangers’ lives unexpectedly collide, there’s only one thing for it: they have to stick together. Otherwise, one of them will die.
 
Three strangers, two secrets, one terrifying evening.

 

I’m a huge fan of C. L. Taylor’s writing and have loved all of her novels so far but I can honestly say that Strangers is her best yet! It’s brilliant!

It follows three characters: Ursula who seems to be a bit of a loner and is clearly struggling with something; Gareth who works as a security guard in the local shopping centre but also looks after his mum who has dementia; Alice who’s recently divorced and has started dating again. A man she ends up seeing has a secret and this leads Alice to be in danger!

I loved how this novel is told from the three different perspectives. It opens with a scene where something terrible has happened but we don’t know exactly what, or who to, and then we got back in time and find out what led to the incident. I had no idea how the lives of these three disparate characters would eventually intersect but I was so keen to find out.

I find it’s rare in a book with three points of view to be equally invested in all of them but C. L. Taylor has written such brilliant characters that I cared about all of them and I wanted to know what was going to happen in each of their lives.

It’s rare for me not to work out how a thriller will turn out but Strangers kept me guessing all the way to the end. It was such a rollercoaster novel and when the denouement happens I was literally on the edge of my seat! I adored this book and I highly recommend it!

 

Strangers is out now in ebook, paperback and audio. All available here.

Many thanks to Avon Books for my ecopy of this book and my invitation to take part in this blog tour. All thoughts are my own.

 

You can follow the rest of this tour at the following blogs:

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It’s new Book Haul day as I’m Stacking the Shelves again!

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

Books and eBooks

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Notes to Self by Emilie Pine

I literally read a review of this book yesterday morning and thought it sounded interesting and then saw the kindle book was on a daily deal on Amazon so I snapped it up. I’d like to read more essay collections and some of the themes explored in this book sound really interesting to me so I’m looking forward to dipping in and out of this one.

 

 

25686362._SY475_The Murders at White House Farm by Carol Ann Lee

I bought this book mid-week as I was anticipating the new ITV drama exploring this case. I started reading it immediately and have almost finished it. It’s a really in-depth look at the case, and all the people involved. There is a lot about the lives of the family well before the murders happened, which I appreciated.

 

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Date with Death, Date With Malice and Date with Mystery (Books 1, 2 & 3 in (The Dales Detective series) by Julia Chapman

I had read some reviews of this series over Christmas and immediately added these books to my wish list as they sound like something I would really enjoyed. So it was serendipitous that just a few days later I was offered the first three in the series by a fellow blogger in a swap. I’m so keen to pick these up so I don’t think they’ll be on my TBR for long!

 

Review Books

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The Sight of You by Holly Miller

I requested this book from NetGalley on a total whim as I loved the sound of the blurb. It does sound like it could be a weepy so I’ll have to be in the right mood to read it but I’m really happy to have a copy of this on my TBR.

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Strangers by C. L. Taylor

I’ve loved all of C. L. Taylor’s novels so far so when I heard she had a new novel coming out this year I immediately opened NetGalley and requested it. I can’t wait to get to this one!

 

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The Guest List by Lucy Foley

I downloaded this one from NetGalley this week as I really enjoyed Lucy Foley’s previous novel and I just can’t resist books where people are all trapped in one location when something terrible happens.

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The Familiar Dark by Amy Engel

I read and loved The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel so I absolutely had to read her forthcoming new novel. This definitely won’t be on my TBR for very long!

 

 

 

 

Have you acquired any new books this week? I’d love to know what you got. Or have you read any of my new books and recommend I get to any of them sooner rather than later? If you’ve shared a book haul post this week then please feel free to share you link below and I’ll make sure to visit your post! 🙂