Weekly Wrap-Up (8 May)

Weekly Wrap up SQUARE copyrighted

I’m linking this post up to Kimba’s Caffeinated Book Reviewer’s Sunday Blog Share.


I don’t have much real life news for the last week, it’s been a quiet week. This coming week is going to be a tough one with medical appointments so I don’t think I will be able to get much reading done this week. I also won’t be around as much on social media so forgive me if I miss any news or don’t manage to comment/share/like blog posts as much as I usually do.


Thank you for all your lovely words about my blog’s makeover. It’s been a week now since I finalised the makeover and I’m so happy with it, every time I go to do anything on my blog it makes me smile. The time it took me to get the re-vamp done meant I didn’t get my blog scheduled as much as I would have liked for this week so I’ve struggled to get posts up on time this week. I finally got caught up in the last day or so and am back to being scheduled ahead again. I’m now trying to schedule much further in advance than I have previously done due to the horrible week ahead, I’d really like to still have posts up most days so hopefully I’ll be able to do that.

I also still need to sort out the pages in my menus at the top of my blog as whilst I do have a system of organising my posts, it’s not really working so well now the number of posts on my blog has got greater. I know what I want to do with them, it’s just a matter of finding the time to do it.


This week I’ve managed to read four books:

The Midnight Watch by David Dyer

This Must Be The Place by Maggie O’Farrell

The Wacky Man by Lyn G. Farrell

The Children Act by Ian McEwan

I’ve already reviewed This Must Be The Place and The Wacky Man so click the links above if you’d like to read those reviews.


I’ve blogged twelve times this week:

(Click the links if you’d like to read any of these posts)

Sunday:

Weekly Wrap-Up Post

Monday:

Q&A with Deborah Rogers, author of The Devil’s Wire

My April Wrap-Up Post

Tuesday:

Q&A with Cara Sue Achterberg, author of Girls’ Weekend

Wednesday:

Review of Wonder Cruise by Ursula Bloom

WWW Wednesday Post

Thursday:

Review of Shtum by Jem Lester

Q&A with Sheryl Browne, author of The Rest of My Life

Friday:

Review of This Must Be The Place by Maggie O’Farrell

Saturday:

Blog Tour | Review of The Wacky Man by Lyn G. Farrell

The Lad Lit Blog Tour | Guest post by Steven Scaffardi

Stacking the Shelves Post


Coming up on my blog this week:

I’ll be joining in with WWW Wednesday, Stacking the Shelves on Saturday, and my Weekly Wrap-up on Sunday. I also have some author interviews ready to schedule, and some book reviews.


This is what I’m currently reading:

Sockpuppet by Matthew Blakstad

Tapestry by Elle Turner

Where Did I go? by Polly Williamson

Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke

This Secret We’re Keeping by Rebecca Done

Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave


Weekly Wrap up SQUARE copyrighted

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

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Review: Wonder Cruise by Ursula Bloom

Wonder Cruise by Ursula Bloom

A witty, heartwarming read with great romantic and comic characters. This warm, feel-good tale will make you smile, and you’ll be rooting for Ann to find lasting love and happiness. A moving portrait of an unforgettable 1930’s woman; Ann Clements will stay with you long after the last page. 

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

I jumped at the chance to read this book when I was offered it for review, I’ll be honest that as soon as I saw the gorgeous cover I felt sure I would enjoy this novel, and I was absolutely right!

Wonder Cruise was written and set in the early 1930s and is a wonderful insight into the way life was for unmarried women in that era. Ann Clements is a 35 year old spinster who has a dull job as a typist, and is very much influenced by her brother, Cuthbert, who is a vicar. He keeps Ann on a tight rein and she never goes against what he says. Then one day her co-worker tells her that she has won some money in a sweepstake and Ann is left feeling very discombobulated. She agonises over what Cuthbert will say but then in a moment of spontaneity she books a mediterranean cruise – her boss encourages her to go and she does it on a whim. Despite Cuthbert’s thoughts on the matter Ann defies him and goes anyway!

This is a novel about one woman’s awakening to what is out there in the wider world. Ann has led a very sheltered, very dull life and suddenly her eyes are opened to new countries, new people and she begins to see what could be if she just lets go. Ann soon goes from feeling incredibly uncomfortable on the cruise and wondering if she’d made a huge mistake to gradually changing aspects of her look and beginning to fit in. Initially, she changes her hair because she is far too hot with her long hair pinned up on her head, but then she invests in a new wardrobe when it becomes obvious that her new wool tweed suit is not going to be practical in the mediterranean heat. Ann doesn’t just choose practical clothes though, she gets swept up in the shopping experience and for the first time in her life she buys pretty clothes.

Ann begins to attract the attention of some of the men on the cruise and gets swept up in the romance – she dances with one man, and she goes ashore with another man. It’s delightful to see how Ann changes as the novel goes on. She begins to dread the end of the cruise, almost wishing she’d never gone on it because now she has to go back to her drab life knowing what’s out there in the world. I found myself feeling quite sad at the thought of her going back to her miserable spinsterhood life and living under her brother’s control for the rest of her life. I couldn’t see how it would be any different but I was so hoping that it could be. I’m not going to give any spoilers but I loved the climax to this novel, for a while it went in a slightly different direction than I was expecting for a novel written in the 30s which was wonderful.

This novel is of its time in the sense that some of the opinions are a little outdated, and I’ll be very honest and admit that in the opening chapter I did wonder if this was going to be a very quaint and staid book and perhaps not my kind of thing, but from the moment Ann wins the money in the sweepstake I just got completely swept up in her adventure. Ann’s story does have a relevance to modern life in the sense that we should all follow our dreams, that it’s important to get out of our comfort zones and see what is out there in the wider world. There was so much more wit and humour than I was expecting throughout, and the book does have surprises in store. I enjoyed every page and didn’t want the book to end.

I rated Wonder Cruise 4.5 out of 5, it’s a delightfully charming novel, which I adored. I highly recommended it I can’t wait to read more of Ursula Bloom’s novels.

I received this book from Corazon Books via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

Wonder Cruise is out now and available on Amazon.

I recently wrote a blog post to showcase this novel so if you’d like to know more about it, and the author Ursula Bloom please read my post here.

My April Wrap-Up Post

 

 

Monthly Wrap Up post Copyrighted

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

The Swimming Pool by Louise Candlish

The Summer I Met You by Victoria Walters

Dear Dad by Giselle Green

The Boy with the Boxes by Katey Lovell

The Boy on the Bus by Katey Lovell

Peter and Alice by John Logan

In Too Deep by Samantha Hayes

The Second Love of My Life by Victoria Walters

Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell

Shame by Jasvinder Sanghera

Twisted River by Siobhan MacDonald

 Wonder Cruise by Ursula Bloom

The Real Book Thief by Ingrid Black

Shtum by Jem Lester

The Ice Twins by S. K. Tremayne


I also reviewed six books that I finished before April

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

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

Between You and Me by Lisa Hall

The Good Mother by A. L. Bird

Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

When She Was Bad by Tammy Cohen


 

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

Jannie Lund, author of Vintage Dreams

Sherry Mayes, author of Stop the World

Katye Nunn, author of Rose’s Vintage

Mike Russell, author of Nothing is Strange

Siobhan MacDonald, author of Twisted River

Greg Cope White, author of The Pink Marine

 

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

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

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

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


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


 

So, that was my month! How was your April? Has it been a book-filled month for you? Please feel free to share in the comments below, or to leave a link to your own April Wrap-Up post.

WWW Wednesday (27 April)

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:

shtum by jem lester

Shtum by Jem Lester

Synopsis:

Ben Jewell has hit breaking point.

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

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

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

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

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Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Midnight Watch by David Dyer

Synopsis:

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

The Children Act by Ian McEwan

The Children Act by Ian McEwan

Synopsis:

Fiona Maye, a leading High Court judge, renowned for her fierce intelligence and sensitivity is called on to try an urgent case. For religious reasons, a seventeen-year-old boy is refusing the medical treatment that could save his life. Time is running out.

She visits the boy in hospital – an encounter which stirs long-buried feelings in her and powerful new emotions in the boy. But it is Fiona who must ultimately decide whether he lives or dies and her judgement will have momentous consequences for them both.


 

What I recently finished reading:

Wonder Cruise by Ursula Bloom

Wonder Cruise by Ursula Bloom

Synopsis:

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

the real book thief ingrid black

The Real Book Thief by Ingrid Black

Synopsis:

In October 2015, crime writer Ingrid Black discovered that her first novel The Dead, the story of a former FBI agent tracking down a serial killer in Dublin, had been plagiarised and was being sold under a different name by another author on Kindle.

The thief’s name was Joanne Clancy, a former Kindle All Star, and the book that she called Tear Drop was No 1 in the Irish crime fiction charts at the time. Not only that, but she had a second book scheduled for release in a few weeks time, and that one turned out to be a carbon copy of Ingrid Black’s second book about the same character, The Dark Eye. The Real Book Thief tells the story of how Ingrid Black discovered what had happened and how she went about trying to find out more about the mysterious woman who had stolen her work.

Twisted River by Siobhan MacDonald

Twisted River by Siobhan MacDonald

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shame by Javinder Sanghera (My Pic)

Shame by Jasvinder Sanghera

Synopsis:

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


What I plan on reading next:

The Ice Twins by S. K. Tremayne

The Ice Twins by S. K. Tremayne

Synopsis:

A year after one of their identical twin daughters, Lydia, dies in an accident, Angus and Sarah Moorcraft move to the tiny Scottish island Angus inherited from his grandmother, hoping to put together the pieces of their shattered lives.

But when their surviving daughter, Kirstie, claims they have mistaken her identity – that she, in fact, is Lydia – their world comes crashing down once again.

As winter encroaches, Angus is forced to travel away from the island for work, Sarah is feeling isolated, and Kirstie (or is it Lydia?) is growing more disturbed. When a violent storm leaves Sarah and her daughter stranded, Sarah finds herself tortured by the past – what really happened on that fateful day one of her daughters died?

The Last Days of Summer by Vanessa Ronan

The Last Days of Summer by Vanessa Ronan

Synopsis:

She can forgive. They can’t forget.

After ten years in the Huntsville State Penitentiary, Jasper Curtis returns home to live with his sister and her two daughters. Lizzie does not know who she’s letting into her home: the brother she grew up loving or the monster he became.

Teenage Katie distrusts this strange man in their home but eleven-year-old Joanne is just intrigued by her new uncle.

Jasper says he’s all done with trouble, but in a forgotten prairie town that knows no forgiveness, it does not take long for trouble to arrive at their door …

Howards End is on the Landing by Susan Hill

Howards End is on the Landing by Susan Hill

Synopsis:

Early one autumn afternoon in pursuit of an elusive book on her shelves, Susan Hill encountered dozens of others that she had never read, or forgotten she owned, or wanted to read for a second time. The discovery inspired her to embark on a year-long voyage through her books, forsaking new purchases in order to get to know her own collection again.

A book which is left on a shelf for a decade is a dead thing, but it is also a chrysalis, packed with the potential to burst into new life. Wandering through her house that day, Hill’s eyes were opened to how much of that life was stored in her home, neglected for years. Howard’s End is on the Landing charts the journey of one of the nation’s most accomplished authors as she revisits the conversations, libraries and bookshelves of the past that have informed a lifetime of reading and writing.

1971 - Never A Dull Moment- Rock's Golden Year by David Hepworth

1971: Never A Dull Moment by David Hepworth

Synopsis:

The Sixties ended a year late – on New Year’s Eve 1970, when Paul McCartney initiated proceedings to wind up The Beatles. Music would never be the same again.
The next day would see the dawning of a new era. 1971 saw the release of more monumental albums than any year before or since and the establishment of a pantheon of stars to dominate the next forty years – Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Marvin Gaye, Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Rod Stewart, the solo Beatles and more.
January that year fired the gun on an unrepeatable surge of creativity, technological innovation, blissful ignorance, naked ambition and outrageous good fortune. By December rock had exploded into the mainstream.
How did it happen? This book tells you how. It’s the story of 1971, rock’s golden year.


 

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 (24 April)

Weekly wrap-up banner

SundayBlogShare

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

 


This week has been another up and down week for me. The beginning of the week was particularly difficult when my already severe pain levels increased further but thankfully they’ve settled a bit since. I’ve had a useful medical appointment this week that is hopefully going to finally lead on to me getting help with the pain. I’m also due to have another MRI scan tomorrow to check that there is nothing else going on in my spine that could be aggravating my pain.

I’m still only managing to concentrate for small periods of time so I’m not getting to read as much as I’d like. I’m grateful to be able to read even a little though and am hoping it will get easier in time. I did manage to finish some books this week that I’ve been reading for a few weeks so I was pleased about that.

It’s been a good week where my blog is concerned though. Thanks to my new scheduling pattern, I had enough posts set up ready to go so that my blog kept going as planned even when I wasn’t around much. It gives me real satisfaction to keep my blog running, even during the tough times so I was really glad that I’d worked out scheduling before this rough patch.


This week I’ve managed to finish reading five books (most of these books I’ve been reading for a few weeks and just finished this week):

Twisted River by Siobhan MacDonald

I really enjoyed reading this book, it was one of those reads that is really hard to put down once you’ve started reading it. It was different to anything else I’ve read recently and kept me guessing all the way through. I’m on the blog tour for this book today and so look out for my interview with Siobhan MacDonald.

Wonder Cruise by Ursula Bloom

Wonder Cruise is such a lovely novel, I found that I wanted to read it slowly to savour it and I really didn’t want it to end. I hope to get my review up this week. I’ll definitely be looking out for more of Ursula Bloom’s novels in the future.

The Second Love of My Life by Victoria Walters

This book is such a gorgeous read, I absolutely loved it! It had such depth to it and yet was never heavy-going. I hope to have my review of this up on my blog this week.

Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell

This is a novella released for World Book Day and my first ever Rainbow Rowell book! I loved it, it’s such an adorable read! This is the only book I managed to read from start to finish in the course of this week.

Shame by Jasvinder Sanghera

This is a fascinating read about a young woman who runs away from her family to escape an arranged marriage, but that is only the beginning of what happened to Jasvinder. This is ultimately an inspiring read and I recommend it. I hope to have my review ready to post very soon.


 I’ve blogged twelve times this week (well, eleven times plus a re-blog of my guest post on another blog):

 

Sunday: Weekly Wrap-Up Post

Monday: Q&A with Kayte Nunn (author of Rose’s Vintage) plus giveaway of ebooks

Blog post: Addicted to Blogging (all about writing my first 200 posts!)

Tuesday: Review of In Too Deep by Samantha Hayes

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday Post

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

Thursday: Review of The Boy on the Bus (Meet Cute) by Katey Lovell

Q&A with Mike Russell (author of the short story collection, Nothing is Strange)

Friday: Guest post by Heidi Perks (author of Beneath the Surface) about marketing a book on a limited budget

Re-blog from Laura at 125Pages where I wrote a guest post for her about how I approach blogging.

Saturday: Stacking the Shelves Post


Coming up on my blog this week:

My usual WWW Wednesday Post, Stacking the Shelves Post and Weekly Wrap-Up Post. Plus more reviews and an author Q&A/guest post.


This is what I’m currently reading:

Shtum by Jem Lester

This book has got better as it’s gone along and I’m quite enjoying it now.

The Midnight Watch by David Dyer

It’s so frustrating that I can only read in short bursts at the moment because this is a book I would have devoured normally. It’s a brilliant novel though and I highly recommend it. When I’m not able to read I’m thinking about this book and wishing I could get back to it.

Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave

I’ve only managed to read the first few chapters of this due to my lack of concentration but I’ve loved what I’ve read and I’m so looking forward to reading more. They writing is so beautiful and every single page feels like a treat.


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

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

WWW Wednesday (20 April)

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:

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Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave 

I was thrilled to receive a copy of this book last week and have been saving it until I could read it in big chunks but I’ve had a tough couple of days so I decided to start reading this as I figured I deserved a treat. It is so good, I’m very much enjoying it.

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Twisted River by Siobhan MacDonald

Twisted River by Siobhan MacDonald

This book is really good, it’s a bit different to anything else I’ve read in a while and I’m finding it very hard to put down.

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Midnight Watch by David Dyer

I couldn’t resist starting this book at the weekend! I’ve only read the first few chapters so far as I’m still not able to read very much in one go at the moment but it’s very good. 

Synopsis:

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

Wonder Cruise by Ursula Bloom

Wonder Cruise by Ursula Bloom

I’m still really enjoying this book, it’s one of those books that gives me such a lift every time I read some of it.

Synopsis:

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

shtum by jem lester

Shtum by Jem Lester

I’ve read a little bit more of this since last week and it’s a got a bit better so I’m going to keep reading.

Synopsis:

Ben Jewell has hit breaking point.

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

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

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

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

 

Shame by Javinder Sanghera (My Pic)

Shame by Jasvinder Sanghera

This is a fascinating book. It’s due to be published tomorrow so look out for it. I’ve only read the first third so far but I’d definitely recommend it.

Synopsis:

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


What I recently finished reading: 

In Too Deep by Samantha Hayes

In Too Deep by Samantha Hayes

I really enjoyed this book. I posted my review yesterday so you can read it here if you’d like to.

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

the second love of my life

The Second Love of My Life by Victoria Walters

I loved this book so much, it’s a definite 5 star read for me. I’m part way through writing my review now so I should have it up on my blog very soon. 

Synopsis:

In the Cornish town of Talting, everyone is famous for something.

Until recently Rose was known for many things: her infectious positivity; her unique artistic talent; and her devotion to childhood sweetheart Lucas.

But two years ago that changed in one unthinkable moment. Now, Rose is known for being the young woman who became a widow aged just twenty-four.

Though Rose knows that life must go on, the thought of carving out a new future for herself is one she can barely entertain. Until a newcomer, Robert, arrives in Talting for the summer…

Can Rose allow herself the chance to love again?

Get lost in Victoria Walters’ immensely touching debut novel, and discover a world that will capture your imagination and heart.

Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell

Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell

This is the first Rainbow Rowell book that I’ve read and I really enjoyed it, it’s a sweet story. I do have a couple of Rainbow’s novels on my TBR and I’m more keen than ever to read them now.

Synopsis:

‘Everybody likes everything these days. The whole world is a nerd.’
‘Are you mad because other people like Star Wars? Are you mad because people like me like Star Wars?’
‘Maybe.’

If you broke Elena’s heart, Star Wars would spill out. So when she decides to queue outside her local cinema to see the new movie, she’s expecting a celebration with crowds of people who love Han, Luke and Leia just as much as she does.

What she’s not expecting is to be last in a line of only three people; to have to pee into a collectible Star Wars soda cup behind a dumpster or to meet that unlikely someone who just might truly understand the way she feels.

Kindred Spirits is an engaging short story by Rainbow Rowell, author of the bestselling Eleanor & Park, Fangirl and Carry On, and is part of a handful of selected short reads specially produced for World Book Day.


What I plan on reading next:

Beneath the Surface by Heidi Perks

Beneath the Surface by Heidi Perks

I’ve been excited to read this since before it was released and ever since I received a review copy I’ve been so keen to pick it up. I really hope to read it this week if I can, especially as I’m featuring Heidi Perks on my blog very soon.

Synopsis:

I donʼt know where you are…
I donʼt know what Iʼve done…
Teenager Abigail Ryder is devastated when she gets home from school to find her family gone.
Nothing makes sense. Things are missing from the house and her stepsistersʼ room is completely empty. But the police think sheʼs trouble, and when grandmother Eleanor tells her to forget them all and move on, thereʼs no choice other than face the future – alone.
Fourteen years on, Abi and Adam are a happy couple on the verge of parenthood. But when the past comes back to haunt Abi, the only way forward is to go back and uncover the truth – and reveal the dreadful secrets a mother has been hiding all these years.

The Second Chance Shoe Shop by Marcie Steele

The Second Chance Shoe Shop by Marcie Steele

I love Marcie Steele’s writing so I can’t wait to read her latest novel. I’m in need of another feel-good read at the moment and I feel sure this will fit the bill!

Synopsis:

All Riley Flynn wants is to meet someone who makes her happy. But attracting the right kind of man is not easy, and with her heart still hurting from her last break-up, Riley believes she’ll never find love again.

A year ago, Sadie Stewart’s whole world was shattered when her husband, Ross, died. She has struggled to keep herself together for the sake of their young daughter, but with the anniversary of his death approaching, Sadie finds herself overwhelmed by grief.

Sadie and Riley work at Chandlers shoe shop, in the charming town of Hedworth. But when Chandlers is threatened with closure, the friends are confronted with the loss of not only their jobs, but also their support network – the glue that holds them together when they are close to breaking.

As they put together a plan to save their beloved shop, Sadie realises that she might just be learning to live again. Could it be that new beginnings are just round the corner? The campaign also finds Riley unexpectedly crossing paths with charming photographer, Ethan. Maybe her second chance at love is right under her feet …

The Children Act by Ian McEwan

The Children Act by Ian McEwan

I still haven’t figured out how to challenge myself to read my best books in a way that I can track my progress on my blog (see this post here to find out what I mean about best books) but I’m going to make a start on reading some of my own books by adding one or two into my selected reads each week. I’m a fan of Ian McEwan and have had this book on my TBR since it first came out, I’ve been wanting to read it but haven’t found the right time so I’ve decided to just get on with it!

Synopsis:

Fiona Maye, a leading High Court judge, renowned for her fierce intelligence and sensitivity is called on to try an urgent case. For religious reasons, a seventeen-year-old boy is refusing the medical treatment that could save his life. Time is running out.

She visits the boy in hospital – an encounter which stirs long-buried feelings in her and powerful new emotions in the boy. But it is Fiona who must ultimately decide whether he lives or dies and her judgement will have momentous consequences for them both.

 


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 (17 April 2016)

Weekly wrap-up banner

SundayBlogShare

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

 


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

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


 

This week I’ve managed to read two books:

Peter and Alice by John Hogan

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

In Too Deep by Samantha Hayes

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


 

 I’ve blogged ten times this week:

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

Sunday: Weekly Wrap-Up Post

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

dear dad by giselle green

Tuesday: Review of Dear Dad by Giselle Green

WWW pic

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday post

First by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Thursday: Review of Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

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

when she was bad tammy

Friday: Review of When She Was Bad by Tammy Cohen

Wonder Cruise by Ursula Bloom

Blog post about Wonder Cruise by Ursula Bloom

Stacking the Shelves

Saturday: Stacking the Shelves post

hope-stories-from-a-womens-refuge

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


 

Coming up on my blog this week:

Sunday: Weekly Wrap-Up (Sunday Post)

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

Tuesday: Review or Author Q&A/Interview

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday Post

Thursday: Review or Author Q&A/Interview

Friday: Review or Author Q&A/Interview

Saturday: Stacking the Shelves Post


 

This is what I’m currently reading:

The Midnight Watch by David Dyer

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

The Second Love of My Life by Victoria Walters

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

Shtum by Jem Lester

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

Shame by Jasvinder Sanghera

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

Wonder Cruise by Ursula Bloom

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

Twisted River by Siobhan MacDonald

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

 


 

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

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

 

WWW Wednesday (13 April 2016)

 

WWW pic

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open for anyone to join in and is a great way to share what you’ve been reading! All you have to do is answer three questions and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

The three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

A similar meme is run by Lipsyy Lost and Found where bloggers share This Week in Books #TWiB.


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


What I’m reading now:

 

In Too Deep by Samantha Hayes

In Too Deep by Samantha Hayes

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

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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


the second love of my life

The Second Love of My Life by Victoria Walters

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

Synopsis:

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

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


Wonder Cruise by Ursula Bloom

Wonder Cruise by Ursula Bloom

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

Synopsis:

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


Shame by Javinder Sanghera (My Pic)

Shame by Jasvinder Sanghera

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

Synopsis:

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


shtum by jem lester

Shtum by Jem Lester

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

Synopsis:

Ben Jewell has hit breaking point. 

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

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

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

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


 

truth lies and o-rings

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

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

 

 


What I recently finished reading: 

dear dad by giselle green

Dear Dad by Giselle Green 

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

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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


The boy with the boxes by katey lovell

The Boy with the Boxes by Katey Lovell

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

Synopsis:

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

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

 


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

The Boy on the Bus by Katey Lovell

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

 


peter and alice john logan script

Peter and Alice by John Logan

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

Synopsis:

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


What I plan on reading next:

 

Twisted River by Siobhan MacDonald

Twisted River by Siobhan MacDonald

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

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

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

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


 

Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave

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

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

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

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


The Midnight Watch by David Dyer

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

Synopsis:

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


 

What are you reading at the moment? Have you finished any good books recently? Any books you’re looking forward to reading soon? Please feel free to join in with this meme and share your link below, or if you don’t have a blog please share in the comments below.:) 

WWW Wednesdays (6 April 2016)

WWW pic

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open for anyone to join in and is a great way to share what you’ve been reading! All you have to do is answer three questions and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

The three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

A similar meme is run by Lipsyy Lost and Found where bloggers share This Week in Books #TWiB.


 

What I’m reading now:

the second love of my life

The Second Love of My Life by Victoria Walters

I’m kind of cheating a little in putting this novel in my ‘what I’m reading now’ section as I have only read the first chapter so far. I loved the prequel novella that I finished earlier though and couldn’t resist going straight on to this!

Synopsis:

In the Cornish town of Talting, everyone is famous for something.

Until recently Rose was known for many things: her infectious positivity; her unique artistic talent; and her devotion to childhood sweetheart Lucas.

But two years ago that changed in one unthinkable moment. Now, Rose is known for being the young woman who became a widow aged just twenty-four.

Though Rose knows that life must go on, the thought of carving out a new future for herself is one she can barely entertain. Until a newcomer, Robert, arrives in Talting for the summer…

Can Rose allow herself the chance to love again?

In The Light Of What We See by Sarah Painter

In the Light of What We See by Sarah Painter

This book was offered to me for review and I couldn’t resist after I read the synopsis. I’ve only read a few chapters so far but I’m really enjoying it. I really hope that my body begins to settle down on my new meds very soon so that I can get back to reading at my normal rate. I can’t wait to get back to this book, it’s one to read in chunks and be completely engrossed in.

Synopsis:

Brighton, 1938: Grace Kemp is pushed away by the family she has shamed. Rejected and afraid, she begins a new life as a nurse. But danger stalks the hospital too, and she’ll need to be on her guard to avoid falling into familiar traps. And then there are the things she sees…Strange portents that have a way of becoming real.

Eighty years later, Mina Morgan is brought to the same hospital after a near-fatal car crash. She is in terrible pain but recalls nothing. She’s not even sure whom to trust. Mina too sees things that others cannot, but now, in hospital, her visions are clearer than ever…

Two women, separated by decades, are drawn together by a shared space and a common need to salvage their lives.

I’m also still reading from last week:

Dear Dad by Giselle Green

I literally only have a few chapters left to read of this fab novel so will definitely finish it soon – had I not have had a rough week health-wise I would have finished it by now. It’s so good though that I’ve kept on thinking about the characters even when I haven’t been up to reading about them and that’s always the sign of a great novel.

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

I’ve ground to a halt on this book with not feeling well as my brain just can’t seem to take in much info but I hope to get back to it soon as it is a really interesting read.


 

What I recently finished reading: 

the summer i met you

The Summer I Met You by Victoria Walters

I picked this up one night this week and couldn’t put it down, it’s a lovely novella about a couple falling in love. I’ve now started the novel which follows on from this and am interested to see where the story picks up years later.

Synopsis:

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

When Emma leaves her Cornish hometown of Talting for a summer in Devon, the last thing she dreams of is falling in love.

But sometimes the people who affect us the most come along when we least expect it.

As the summer comes to the end, will it herald the start of something that could last for ever?

The Swimming Pool by Louise Candlish

The Swimming Pool by Louise Candlish

I devoured this novel, it’s such an intense read that hooks you in and doesn’t let go. I’ve just reviewed it for LoveReading and will be sharing my review on my blog in the next few days so keep an eye out for that. I loved it though and recommend that you pre-order it for your summer read!

Synopsis

It’s summer when Elm Hill lido opens, having stood empty for years. For Natalie Steele – wife, mother, teacher – it offers freedom from the tightly controlled routines of work and family. Especially when it leads her to Lara Channing, a charismatic former actress with a lavish bohemian lifestyle, who seems all too happy to invite Natalie into her elite circle.

Soon Natalie is spending long days at the pool, socializing with new friends and basking in a popularity she didn’t know she’d been missing. Real life, and the person she used to be, begins to feel very far away.

But is such a change in fortunes too good to be true? Why are dark memories of a summer long ago now threatening to surface? And, without realizing, could Natalie have been swept dangerously out of her depth?

The Stylist by Rosie Nixon

The Stylist by Rosie Nixon

I enjoyed this novel but it wasn’t quite as good as I’d hoped it might be. I’ve already reviewed this and you can read my review by here.

Synopsis:

When Amber Green, a shop assistant in an exclusive London boutique is plucked from obscurity and mistakenly offered a job working with Mona Armstrong, the infamous, jet-setting ‘stylist to the stars’, she hits the ground running, helping to style some of Hollywood’s hottest (and craziest) starlets.

As awards season spins into action Mona is in hot demand and Amber’s life turned upside down. Suddenly she catching the attention of two very different suitors, TV producer Rob and Hollywood bad boy rising star Liam. How will Amber keep her head? And what the hell will everyone wear?


 

What I plan on reading next:

Wonder Cruise by Ursula Bloom

Wonder Cruise by Ursula Bloom

I was offered the chance to review this book by the publisher and I can’t wait to start reading it. It sounds like a fab read – and I adore the gorgeous cover!

Synopsis:

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

shtum by jem lester

Shtum by Jem Lester

I’ve had a review copy of this book for ages but just haven’t got around to reading it as yet. It’s now release week and I keep seeing people talking about it so I feel drawn to reading it now.

Synopsis:

Ben Jewell has hit breaking point. 

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

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

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

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

In Too Deep by Samantha Hayes

In Too Deep by Samantha Hayes

I was thrilled to get the chance to review this book before it’s released and I can’t wait to get started. I’ve read a couple of Samantha Hayes’ other novels (before I was a book blogger) and really enjoyed them so I have high hopes for this one!

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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


 

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Don’t forget to check out my giveaway post from yesterday (here) – I’m offering you the chance to win a HB copy of The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood. The giveaway is international so is open to everyone. 

 


 

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. 🙂

Stacking the Shelves (19 March 2016)

stacking-the-shelves

(Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews, which is all about sharing the books that you’ve acquired in the past week – ebooks or physical books, and books you’ve bought or borrowed or received an ARC of.)

This week I’ve tried to be more restrained in my book buying and I have been to a degree but I still couldn’t resist buying a few books!

Here are the new books that I purchased this week:

Love Like Salt: A Memoir by Helen Stevenson I’ve heard so much about this book on social media and have been really wanting to read it. I hope to get to it soon.

Mrs Houdini by Victoria Kelly I bought this book on a bit of a whim! I saw the cover and thought it looked fab and then when I read the synopsis it sounded like a really good read.

When We Were Alive by C. J. Fisher This is book I’ve seen reviewed on quite a few blogs recently so when I spotted it at a good price on Kindle I thought I’d download it.

Sewing the Shadows Together by Alison Baillie I saw this reviewed on MyChesnutReadingTree‘s blog this week and went straight to my Kindle and downloaded it. I can’t wait to read it, it sounds like my type of book.

Case 48 by Emma Kavanagh (a free short story on Amazon Kindle) I’ve loved all of Emma Kavanagh’s novels so when I spotted this free short story it was a no brainer to download it.


I also received these books for review:

The Missing by C. L. Taylor I was thrilled that my request for this book was approved, I adore C. L. Taylor’s writing and wanted to read this book asap! I do have it on pre-order so will still have a print copy on release day but I couldn’t resist the chance to read and review it sooner! I’ve started reading it already so should be able to review it next week.

The Good Mother by A. L. Bird I’m really looking forward to reading this review book too, so much so that it’s next on my list when I’ve finished The Missing.

Wonder Cruise by Ursula Bloom I was offered the chance to read and review Wonder Cruise this week and I’m looking forward to starting it. 

The Treachery of Trains by Sylvia Ashby I was also offered the chance to review this book too, it may be a little while before I get to it but I am looking forward to reading it.


 

So, that’s all of my new books from the last two weeks. 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.