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Saturday, 20 April 2019

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up - 20th April 2019

Hoppy Easter to you all! I hope you are having chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Or maybe the Easter Bunny is bringing you books?! Now that should definitely be a thing!

A busy start to the week here has left me feeling rather flat come the end of the week, so hoping for some rest, relaxation and reading in the sunny garden over the Easter period!

It's been a great bookish week too - Managed to finish 5 books, got 2 new arrivals from Netgalley, had a  little shopping spree in the Waterstones sale, got 2 books from the library and some bookpost too! Yay!

Here's a look back at my week...


An enthralling historical story.

An emotional journey for both author and reader!

Really enjoyed this one!

Another fascinating and thrilling installment of this series!

Such a sweet book! A really enjoyable reading experience


A trip to the library ended up with these two making their way home with me..

The Overstory is a sweeping, impassioned work of activism and resistance that is also a stunning evocation of—and paean to—the natural world. From the roots to the crown and back to the seeds, Richard Powers’s twelfth novel unfolds in concentric rings of interlocking fables that range from antebellum New York to the late twentieth-century Timber Wars of the Pacific Northwest and beyond. There is a world alongside ours—vast, slow, interconnected, resourceful, magnificently inventive, and almost invisible to us. This is the story of a handful of people who learn how to see that world and who are drawn up into its unfolding catastrophe.

Is it possible to write a sidesplitting novel about the breakup of the perfect marriage? If the writer is Nora Ephron, the answer is a resounding yes. For in this inspired confection of adultery, revenge, group therapy, and pot roast, the creator of Sleepless in Seattle reminds us that comedy depends on anguish as surely as a proper gravy depends on flour and butter.

Seven months into her pregnancy, Rachel Samstat discovers that her husband, Mark, is in love with another woman. The fact that the other woman has "a neck as long as an arm and a nose as long as a thumb and you should see her legs" is no consolation. Food sometimes is, though, since Rachel writes cookbooks for a living. And in between trying to win Mark back and loudly wishing him dead, Ephron's irrepressible heroine offers some of her favorite recipes. Heartburn is a sinfully delicious novel, as soul-satisfying as mashed potatoes and as airy as a perfect soufflé.

And then I went book shopping with my niece - a fellow bookworm! - and I got these 3 from their sale table!!


Masterfully combining fantasy, science fiction and Japanese mythology, the sequel to Kojiki takes us into the heart of a war that spreads across the worlds. 

On the planet of Higo, without the guidance of the Great Spirits, its people are descending into religious civil war. Baiyren Tallaenaq, Prince of Higo, is exiled after causing the death of his mother. 
Freed from his responsibilities and the looming war, he steals their greatest weapon a giant, sentient, armoured suit and uses it to open a Portal to a world he never knew existed. A world called 'Earth '...home of a magical young woman called Keiko. 

A legendary children's story of sibling adventure, by the enchanting author of The Railway Children and Five Children and It, which has delighted countless generations of children

The Bastable children (Dora, Oswald, Dicky, Alice, Noel, and Horace Octavius—H.O.) live in London with their widowed father. Too poor to attend school, the children are left to their own devices, and they spend their days coming up with ingenious plans to restore their father's fortune. Told from the first person perspective—which lends the narrative substantial bias—this was Nesbit's first work. Refreshingly free of Victorian sentimentality, yet still wonderfully evocative of a bygone era, the tale makes for timeless reading. amd ensures Nesbit's esteemed place in the canon of children's literature.

The first book of Earthsea is a tale of wizards, dragons and terrifying shadows. The island of Gont is a land famous for wizards. Of these, some say the greatest - and surely the greatest voyager - is the man called Sparrowhawk. As a reckless, awkward boy, he discovered the great power that was in him - with terrifying consequences. Tempted by pride to try spells beyond his means, Sparrowhawk lets loose an evil shadow-beast in his land. Only he can destroy it, and the quest leads him to the farthest corner of Earthsea.

A bit of bookpost ahead of a Blog Tour...

A monthly subscription parcel from the fabulous Prudence & The Crow - book , sweets, mirror, stationery and tea!

SAVING FRANCESCA MAIER by CLAIRE WINGFIELD - copy for review from author

'Moving and beautifully written ... explores the complex ties of family and friendship with insight and compassion.' Tracey Emerson

Can you leave the past in another country?

Francesca Maier knows little of her father's home country or her parents' life together before she was born. A summer in Berlin brings the past - and its secrets - alive. Adrift in a foreign city, she finds an unexpected friend in east Berliner Antonio - but what will he sacrifice to save her?

Saving Francesca Maier probes the secrets every family hides and the decisions we make in a volatile world.

And then to Netgalley....

Published by Faber - out May 2019

Phoebe stands on Pulteney Bridge, tights gashed from toe to thigh. The shock of mangled metal and blood-stained walls flashes through her mind as she tries to cover her face so she won't be recognised. It wouldn't do to be spotted looking like this. She's missing a shoe. She feels sick.

Phoebe thought murder and murder happened. Thoughts are just thoughts, they said. Now she knows they were wrong.

At home, Phoebe arranges the scissors and knives so they point toward her mother's room. She is exhausted, making sure there's no trace of herself - not a single hair, not even her scent - left anywhere in the house. She must not let her thoughts unravel, because if they do, there's no telling who might be caught in the crossfire, and Phoebe will have to live with the consequences.

Published by Agora Books

An intimate portrait of the two sides of the inimitable Jane Austen: the private life of a decorous and genteel young woman dedicated to family life; and the extraordinary life of an enigmatic author who shied away from the spotlight but illuminated, with her acerbic wit and observation, women's lives ruled by English manners.

Weaving in both historical records and family letters, Aiken Hodge's endearing and affectionate biography of the esteemed author of Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Persuasionaims to unite these two Austens and give a more wholistic view of the great writer who influenced the cannon of English literature.


Captivated by this already so will carry on reading this all over Easter!


Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead on the reading front -  it's my birthday this week! 21 yet again!! Hoping for lots of book shaped presents!!


#BlogTour The Pale Ones by Bartholomew Bennett #RandomThingsTours #ThePaleOnes

Extremely excited to be the latest stop on this Blog Tour for THE PALE ONES by BARTHOLOMEW BENNETT. My thanks to the author, publisher and Anne of Random Things Tours for letting me be part of it all!

About the book

Pulped fiction just got a whole lot scarier… 

Few books are treasured. Most linger in the dusty purgatory of the bookshelf, the attic, the charity shop, their sallow pages filled with superfluous knowledge. And with stories. Darker than ink, paler than paper, something is rustling through their pages. 

Harris delights in collecting the unloved. And in helping people. Or so he says. He wonders if you have anything to donate. To his ‘children’. Used books are his game. Neat is sweet; battered is better. Tears, stains, broken spines – ugly doesn’t matter. Not a jot. And if you’ve left a little of yourself between the pages – a receipt or ticket, a mislaid letter, a scrawled note or number — that’s just perfect. He might call back. 

Hangover Square meets Naked Lunch through the lens of a classic M. R. James ghost story. To hell and back again (and again) via Whitby, Scarborough and the Yorkshire Moors. Enjoy your Mobius-trip. 

“To a soundtrack of wasps, The Pale Ones unsettles in the way of a parable by some contemporary, edgeland Lovecraft, or another of the authors the used-book dealers in this story no doubt seek out, Arthur Machen. The unnerving images which flicker in a sagging English landscape of charity shops, seaside bed and breakfasts and amusement arcades, washed with stale beer, linger in my imagination ages after reading.” ANTHONY CARTWRIGHT, author of Heartland, BBC Radio 4 Book at Bedtime 

"THE PALE ONES reads as if Samuel Beckett decided to write a horror story after reading a bit of Aickman and Lovecraft. Its shifting landscape of English B&Bs, tawdry seaside hotels, and tatty pubs is haunted by glimpses of outlandish beings, half-forgotten wishes, and the forlorn ghosts of unfulfilled desires. It's an outstanding debut." Gary McMahon

Published by Inkanddescent



Bartholomew Richard Emenike Bennett was born in Leicester, the middle son of an American father and English mother. He has studied and worked in the US and New Zealand at various jobs: primarily software developer, but also tutor, nanny, data-entry clerk and call-centre rep, project manager and J-Badger (ask your dad), painter and decorator, and (very slightly) handy-man. Before that, and some now unimaginable time ago, he graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Literature from the University of East Anglia. He has also been known to dabble in online bookselling.

He loves the Goodreads site, and is especially grateful to the Never-Ending Book Quiz for introducing him to The Queen's Gambit by Walter Tevis.

The Pale Ones is his first published work, although he has been writing fiction continuously, long-form and short, since 2002. Currently he is at work on a novel about three children who experience a long, wintry December filled with gifts. Of the unusual variety. And trials. Of the trying variety.

Currently he lives in southeast London, with his wife and two young children. He is a longstanding member of Leather Lane Writers Group, and since childhood, a dedicated reader of all manner of books, but especially tales of the “horror”. And in fact, some of the paper-packed rooms that feature in The Pale Ones bear a remarkable resemblance to locales in his own abode…


If you are looking for a short novel that is compelling and will leave you feeling strangely unsettled, then look no further! It's here! It doesn't scare you though shock and gore, but creeps under your skin and messes with your mind and will leave you a little concerned everytime you may find yourself browsing through the books in a charity shop! If someone points you towards a certain book on the shelves while you're there.... run!!

It's a story of an old bookseller, Harris, seemingly passing on knowledge and tips to the young used book dealer he sees in a charity shop.  Harris is a very odd character - he has his mysterious ways and seems to strike up dodgy deals in dodgy places and persuades the young man to travel with him up North  to pick up some new stock, and in return he'll get first pick!

It's while they're travelling and stopping off that the madness and descent into darkness begins!  It's all written very subtlety in an almost 'blink and you miss it' style, but I loved that you were looking out for clues as to what Harris was really up to, enjoying the weird twists foisted upon you and just had that general sinister feeling throughout of what Harris really was involved in and where it would all lead to!

Such a fascinating, disturbing and quirky little book - it's definitely one to get you out of your comfort zone and gets you to enjoy (if that's the right way to describe a horror story!_ a different kind of storytelling!


Friday, 19 April 2019

#BlogTour Baxter's Requiem by Matthew Crow #RandomThingsTours #BookReview

So delighted to be part of this Blog Tour for BAXTER'S REQUIEM by MATTHEW CROW as I just want to shout from the roof tops of just how wonderful I found this book to be!!  My thanks to the author, publisher and Anne of Random Things Tours for letting me be part of it all!


A tender, witty, uplifting story about friendship, family and community written with great humour that will appeal to fans of Rachel Joyce, Ruth Hogan and Joanna Cannon.

Let me tell you a story, about a man I knew, and a man I know...

Mr Baxter is ninety-four years old when he falls down his staircase and grudgingly finds himself resident at Melrose Gardens Retirement Home.

Baxter is many things - raconteur, retired music teacher, rabble-rouser, bon viveur - but 'good patient' he is not. He had every intention of living his twilight years with wine, music and revelry; not tea, telly and Tramadol. Indeed, Melrose Gardens is his worst nightmare - until he meets Gregory.

At only nineteen years of age, Greg has suffered a loss so heavy that he is in danger of giving up on life before he even gets going.

Determined to save the boy, Baxter decides to enlist his help on a mission to pay tribute to his long-lost love, Thomas: the man with whom he found true happiness; the man he waved off to fight in a senseless war; the man who never returned. The best man he ever knew.

With Gregory in tow Baxter sets out on a spirited escape from Melrose, bound for the war graves of Northern France. As Baxter shares his memories, the boy starts to see that life need not be a matter of mere endurance; that the world is huge and beautiful; that kindness is strength; and that the only way to honour the dead, is to live.

Baxter's Requiem is a glorious celebration of life, love and seizing every last second we have while we're here.

Published by Little Brown Book Group


HIVE.CO.UK  £6.95


Matthew Crow was born and raised in Newcastle. Having worked as a freelance journalist since his teens he has contributed to a number of publications including the Independent on Sunday and the Observer. He has written for adults and YA. His book My Dearest Jonah, was nominated for the Dylan Thomas Prize.


Be still, my beating heart!! I ADORED this beautiful and touching book from start to finish! It is one of those books that is such a simple story but full of so many important and emotional messages that you can't help but take these characters to heart and embrace the friendships made in the most unlikely of places.

Baxter is a grumpy old man! He doesn't want to be living in the care home but time has forced him to, and he'll let everyone know he's not happy about it while he's there! He's 94, a realist and he gets on with things, seeking solace in his vinyl.

Greg is 18 and starts working at the home for something to do. He's had a tragic past and doesn't find much in life that excites him anymore and wants to escape his life. Going home doesn't bring him much joy either so the banter he has with various residents, especially Baxter, starts to spark some life into him

The friendship that begins with Baxter and Greg is so touching! Baxter sees behind the tough exterior of Greg and wants to find out more about what has caused him so much anguish . And this bond between them allows them both to share some tough stories about what they've both been through - and it's fascinating to get these comparisons between someone almost at the end of their life, and someone just beginning theirs. It just shows that people have more in common than they think - age is no barrier!.

The care home staff become like family to one another and is another wonderful aspect of this story. There are some great characters introduced throughout, each playing such an important role in the main thread and just gives that extra depth to the storyline.

This book deals with grief in its' many forms - for people lost, for lives not being lived - and it does it in such a heartwarming way, without ever going OTT or feeling too sickly or sorry for itself. The characters and their pasts are so poignant, and how the act of being a friend can be so rewarding and such a strength to those who need someone to talk to or to believe in. It was heartwarming and heartbreaking to read and full of so much spirit and compassion that it just fills you with joy. 

An absolute delight of a book!!


Thursday, 18 April 2019

#BlogTour Call Me Star Girl by Louise Beech #BookReview #RandomThingsTours

A huge thrill for me today to be part of the blog tour for STAR GIRL by LOUISE BEECH - my thanks to the author, publisher and Anne of Random Things Tours for letting me be part of it all so I can share my love for this stunningly brilliant book!


Tonight is the night for secrets…

Pregnant Victoria Valbon was brutally murdered in an alley three weeks ago – and her killer hasn’t been caught.

Tonight is Stella McKeever’s final radio show. The theme is secrets. You tell her yours, and she’ll share some of hers.

Stella might tell you about Tom, a boyfriend who likes to play games, about the mother who abandoned her, now back after twelve years. She might tell you about the perfume bottle with the star-shaped stopper, or about her father …

What Stella really wants to know is more about the mysterious man calling the station … who says he knows who killed Victoria, and has proof.

Tonight is the night for secrets, and Stella wants to know everything…

With echoes of the chilling Play Misty for Me, Call Me Star Girl is a taut, emotive and all-consuming psychological thriller that plays on our deepest fears, providing a stark reminder that stirring up dark secrets from the past can be deadly…

Published by ORENDA BOOKS

Purchase Links



Louise Beech is an exceptional literary talent, whose debut novel How To Be Brave was a Guardian Readers’ Choice for 2015. The follow-up, The Mountain in My Shoe was shortlisted for Not the Booker Prize. Both of her previous books Maria in the Moon and The Lion Tamer Who Lost were widely reviewed, critically acclaimed and number-one bestsellers on Kindle. The Lion Tamer Who Lost was shortlisted for the RNA Most Popular Romantic Novel Award in 2019. Her short fiction has won the Glass Woman Prize, the Eric Hoffer Award for Prose, and the Aesthetica Creative Works competition, as well as shortlisting for the Bridport Prize twice. Louise lives with her husband on the outskirts of Hull, and loves her job as a Front of House Usher at Hull Truck Theatre, where her first play was performed in 2012.


I don't know where to start!!  Breathless is how this book left me feeling as it's one of those stories that just grabs hold of you from the start and doesn't let go until long after you've finished the last page!

I was really excited when I knew that Louise Beech was going to be venturing into the world of thrillers, as I've loved her previous books, and this book was unsettling and tense from the word go and I loved every single minute of it!

Stella is a radio host and has decided tonight is going to be her last show so she's living dangerously by inviting late night callers to ring in and confess their secrets, while confessing a few of her own!  As a huge fan of phone in radio myself, especially Iain Lee and Katherine Boyle on TalkRadio, I really connected with her way of presenting as  she had built up relationships with callers over the years she'd been hosting the show so when they call in they feel like they are talking to a friend.  Local events nearby had really unsettled her and some of her callers and it was fascinating to see the effect it had on their way of thinking and behaviours. One caller in particular really strikes a nerve with his call and revelations....

Stella has had a complicated life herself and we get to look back at her youth and the very fractured and damaging relationship she has with her mother who walked out on her when Stella was just 12, leaving only a note and a perfume bottle behind.  Hearing Stella talk about these times, alongside the story from her mother's point of view was really quite poignant as it showed the heartache on both sides.

We are also introduced to Stella's other half, Tom, and they have a passionate and quite dangerous relationship so you sense that Stella is used to a life that doesn't running smoothly and she's never really known a settled life and what kind of effect that has had on her psyche.

When more details are released about the woman who was found murdered in an alley nearby, the tension really ramps up and, without revealing any spoilers, I was shocked by the turn of events and it really caught me off guard as the drama played out.  

A stunning thriller that I recommend highly to all!! Just read it!!!!


Wednesday, 17 April 2019

#BookReview The Salt Path by Raynor Winn #bookblogger

About the book

Just days after Raynor learns that Moth, her husband of 32 years, is terminally ill, their home and livelihood is taken away. With nothing left and little time, they make the brave and impulsive decision to walk the 630 miles of the sea-swept South West Coast Path, from Somerset to Dorset, via Devon and Cornwall.

They have almost no money for food or shelter and must carry only the essentials for survival on their backs as they live wild in the ancient, weathered landscape of cliffs, sea and sky. Yet through every step, every encounter, and every test along the way, their walk becomes a remarkable journey.

The Salt Path is an honest and life-affirming true story of coming to terms with grief and the healing power of the natural world. Ultimately, it is a portrayal of home, and how it can be lost, rebuilt, and rediscovered in the most unexpected ways.

Published by  Michael Joseph



Walking The Salt Path on the south west coast is not the normal response from a couple who have just been made homeless and are dealing with the illness of the husband, but that is exactly what the author and her husband end up doing. It seems the ultimate escape from the reality of the position they find themselves in.

I loved how straight forward this couple are! They had to suffer the sadness of losing their beloved farm and home in a very cruel manner, and then are dealt the blow of Moth is suffering a terminal illness - to many people this double blow would be enough to finish them off, but they seem to have the attitude of what doesn't kill you makes you stronger and they decide now is the time to hit the road, so to speak, and to attack the 630 mile path that they've read about so much. 

Along the way, armed with only the bare minimum of equipment and money, they encounter a variety of characters and a variety of attitudes which really opened their eyes to how others see the 'homeless'. When they meet people who assume they've just taken time out to do the walk, they are treated warmly and kindly but when they say they're homeless and the tent they stay in is all they have, they find attitudes change completely and it's an eye opening side to the story.

But for all the bad attitudes they encounter, there is also good amongst people and it's the kindness of strangers that help them along the way especially when money is so tight and that was really heart warming to read about. It is an inspiring book that made them re-evaluate all that they thought they'd held dear, and made them focus on one another and embracing a much simpler way of life.


Tuesday, 16 April 2019

#BookReview Daughter of the House by Victoria Cornwall #PublicationDay

About the book

Evelyn Pendragon is spirited but lonely, and largely ignored by her parents whose attentions are taken up with her brother, Nicholas: the expected heir to the family’s Cornish estate and the one who will carry on the Pendragon name. 

Stifled by her aristocratic existence, Evelyn finds companionship in an unlikely place when she befriends Drake Vennor, an apprentice gardener on the estate.

But When Evelyn’s life is thrown into turmoil by a tragedy, she realises just how much she has come to rely on Drake. Will family expectations and the burden of the Pendragon name mean she must turn her back on him when she needs him the most?

Published  by   Choc Lit

Purchase Links


An enthralling story that encapsulates the struggles of a young woman growing up in a world where inequality is all around her, and trying to find a role for herself when her family are ignoring her in favour of their son and heir. I never really considered what it must have been like to have been born into a family and have so little importance placed upon your existence, but in this story the very spirited Evelyn is not one to take things lying down, and with a new friendship with the young apprentice gardener, Drake, she gains more confidence in herself and begins to find her way in the world despite the obstacles placed in her way.

The pressure of inheritance has caused splits in the family and with the health of young Nicholas in the balance, Evelyn is left facing up to a future she and her parents had never considered. Evelyn has been used to a caring governess while she grew up, but things change and under the care of her new tutor and family Doctor, she is now facing new battles that are quite shocking to read about but thankfully in Drake she has a wonderful support when she most needs it.

The story follows the families over a few years, and it is clear just how important the family name and bloodline was to people, despite the fact that it made the role of women so unimportant. It also brings to light the shameful way that women were treated and even diagnosed as having mental illness if they dared to stand up for themselves and speak their minds. With Evelyn, it really gives you a taste of what it was like for her growing up in a man's world and how very little choice women had in affairs of the heart.

A stirring historical story full of engaging characters and guaranteed to make you feel a wide range of emotions!


#CoverReveal Burn by Hannah Pearl #RubyFiction

Hello!! Are we ready for a RED HOT cover reveal today?! I hope so!  Ruby Fiction have kindly let me share this one for you on behalf of the wonderful Hannah Pearl and it's for her next release called BURN............  here is all you need to know about the book.

There’s no smoke without fire ...

Jess has always held a candle for Dex – so when he comes back into her life after a
school reunion, she couldn’t be happier.
But something happened to Dex before he mysteriously left the area all those
years before – something that still gives him terrible nightmares and makes him
seem cold and distant.
And then there are the rumours – rumours that Jess can’t bring herself to believe.
But when the truth finally comes out, can Jess be the one to help Dex fight the
demons from his past before they consume him completely?

Burn by Hannah Pearl is published on 7th May by Ruby Fiction and will be available to purchase as an eBook on all platforms, as well as in audio.


Hope you are ready for this striking cover.......


Does it 'MATCH' (really sorry about the puns!) up to what you thought it might look like?! Hope it's got you eager to read it - I can't wait!!!