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Saturday, 30 June 2018

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up - Week 25 2018

Hello!! Hope you are fine and dandy!!  Another week of hot and sunny weather here in the UK and it still feels very odd!! Where's the rain?! The storms?!! Weather here isn't supposed to be like this is it?! And there's no sign of it coming to an end either so I'm looking forward to spotting more butterflies in the garden as they've been very few and far between so far!

And as it's been too hot to do much, which means MORE READING time!! So another successful week with 6 books off the TBR pile  - but books have been making their way onto the shelves too so 7 new additions are now part of my book family!  Let's see how I can get on in July as I try and buy less books.... wish me luck!!

So here's a look back at my week! Click on the book titles for links to the GoodReads page for more info!


This has been described as 'Eleanor Oliphant on Acid' - and I can see why! Enjoyed this funny, quirky tale!

I loved this magical story! Highly recommended!!

Another fabulous read! Found myself laughing from page one at the antics and it was just a treat to read!

This is book 2 in the series, but I've not read book 1 but loved this so will be going back to enjoy more! Such a summery treat full of wonderful characters!

Enjoyed this although it wasn't what I expected it to be! I have't read book one in the series (this is number two!), but it was a good mix of romance and cosy crime!

Another book I'd not read the first in the series of, this made no difference to my enjoyment of this cosy story full of lovely characters and chocolate!! A great combination!


A few books arrived this week for review ahead of Blog Tours I'm on in the coming weeks and then I found myself in The Works today just browsing.... and we always know how that ends! 

The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club by Katie May - the cute cover caught my eye!

Black Rabbit Hall by Eve Chase - heard so many good things about this one!

The Little Breton Bistro by Nina George - I loved The Little Paris Bookshop so hope this is as good!

I'm on the blog tour for this in July and as a Madonna fan myself I knew it was a book that might bring back some great memories for me!

Have heard so many good things about this and I've been lucky enough to have been sent a copy for review so hoping to get reading this very soon!

Received this in the post from The Dome Press and the cover alone has me intrigued!!

Received from OneWorld Publications


A short story collection.


And we're done for another week!! How has your reading week been? Good? Bad? Ugly?!   And if you have read any of the books that have come my way this week I'd love to hear your thoughts on which ones I should pick up first! I can sense another weekend of lots of reading time ahead by the looks of the weather forecast!!


Friday, 29 June 2018

#CoverReveal Evie's Little Black Book by Hannah Pearl


Happy Friday to you all! And Happy Cover Reveal day too! It is with great pleasure that I am able to share yet another rather swoonsome cover from the team at Ruby Fiction, for Evie's Little Black Book by Hannah Pearl!!

 Links to pre-order will here nearer the time so keep checking back for that!  Here's a little bit of info about the book to get you in the mood!

Is hunting down every man you’ve kissed the answer to finding Mr Right?
When Evie is invited to the wedding of the guy she’d fancied throughout her teens, it’s the final straw. What’s wrong with her and why can’t she keep a man?

In between consoling herself with ice cream and chocolate, and sobbing her heart out to her cousin Chamaine, Evie has a brainwave – and it all centres around her ‘little black book’ (well, more floral patterned notebook really) – which contains the details of every man she’s ever kissed or dated. Perhaps the cure for her disastrous love life has been nestled within its pages all along …

Does Evie’s little black book really hold the answers, or will learn she learn that exes are exes for a reason?


Evie’s Little Black Book will be published on 21st August 2018 by Ruby Fiction.

Twitter Links

And now for the gorgeous cover......ready?!.....


#BlogTour Song by Michelle Jana Chan #BookReview

Hugely delighted to be the latest stop on the Blog Tour for this extraordinary book - the rags to riches journey of a young boy finding his way in an often brutal world.  My thanks to the author, publisher and Anne of  Random Things Through My Letterbox for letting me be part of it all.

 Michelle Jana Chan 
Published -  28th June 2018 

A sweeping historical epic, following one boy’s long journey from rags to riches; by award-winning journalist and travel editor of Vanity Fair, Michelle Jana Chan. 

Song is just a boy when he sets out from Lishui village in China. Brimming with courage and ambition, he leaves behind his impoverished broken family hoping he’ll make his fortune and return home. Chasing tales of sugarcane, rubber and gold, Song embarks upon a perilous voyage across the globe to the British colony of Guiana, but once there he discovers riches are not so easy to come by and he is forced into labouring as an indentured plantation worker. 

This is only the beginning of Song’s remarkable life, but as he finds himself between places and between peoples, and increasingly aware that the circumstances of birth carry more weight than accomplishments or good deeds, Song fears he may live as an outsider forever. 

This beautifully written and evocative story spans nearly half a century and half the globe, and though it is set in another century, Song’s story of emigration and the quest for an opportunity to improve his life is timeless. 

Purchase Links

Amazon UK  £18.99  £14.59

Book Depository  £16.99

About the Author

Michelle Jana Chan is an award-winning journalist and travel editor of Vanity Fair. She’s also contributing editor at Condé Nast Traveller, presenter of the BBC’s Global Guide and a writer for the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and Travel & Leisure. Michelle has been named the Travel Media Awards’ Travel Writer of the Year. She was a Morehead-Cain scholar at the University of Carolina at Chapel Hill. 


I found this to be an astonishing story which showed the best, and worst, of humanity in all its' guises as we follow the story of Song who starts with nothing in life and fights to get the best kind of life he can for himself and those around him.

The story starts in 1878 in a small village where life is a constant struggle and the families are dependant on the weather for the crops to feed themselves and to sell to earn money.  When disaster strikes Song takes it on himself, aged 10, to venture further afield and see if the stories he's been told of riches elsewhere are true as he wants to provide for his mother and siblings.  

You find when reading this book that Song has an amazing attitude given his circumstances.   He's not afraid of hard work and that is what he finds himself doing on a plantation.  His first piece of good luck is crossing the path of Father Holmes, who almost becomes a father figure to Song and through his care and treatment of Song helps unleash his potential into becoming a successful young man.

I loved the way the author allowed this story to flow and evolve.  No matter what knockbacks Song would receive he would always seem to dust himself off and it would just make him work harder to prove others wrong, and he wasn't afraid to help others too.

This story approaches the subject of racism, slavery and corruption in such a sensitive way, and also in the way that shows Song dealing with all these issues.  He is aware of those doing wrong around him and isn't afraid to confront those taking advantage of others, no matter what consequences he may face for speaking up.

A totally captivating read!

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

#Top5Tuesday - Top 5 Summer Reads

Time for more fun courtesy of this meme created by Shanah over at Bionic BookWorm and for this week the tag is TOP 5 SUMMER READS.  Now that could be so many things to so many people, but for me I've taken it as books I've read and enjoyed with the word SUMMER in the title!!

So without further ado, here's my picks!



So what is your favourite Summer read?!

Monday, 25 June 2018

#BookReview The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson

About the book

All 12-year-old Marinka wants is a friend. A real friend. Not like her house with chicken legs. Sure, the house can play games like tag and hide-and-seek, but Marinka longs for a human companion. Someone she can talk to and share secrets with. 
But that's tough when your grandmother is a Yaga, a guardian who guides the dead into the afterlife. It's even harder when you live in a house that wanders all over the world . . . carrying you with it. Even worse, Marinka is being trained to be a Yaga. That means no school, no parties--and no playmates that stick around for more than a day. 
So when Marinka stumbles across the chance to make a real friend, she breaks all the rules . . . with devastating consequences. Her beloved grandmother mysteriously disappears, and it's up to Marinka to find her--even if it means making a dangerous journey to the afterlife. 
With a mix of whimsy, humor, and adventure, this debut novel will wrap itself around your heart and never let go.

Published by Usborne Publishing

Purchase Links


What an utterly gorgeous book - inside and out!  The perfect book for readers of all ages!! I devoured this magical story of Marinka and her quest to be normal - very difficult in the world she lives in!

This is a re-telling of the Baba Yaga folk tale with its' own unique twists, and it's a book I could imagine making the perfect Studio Ghibli film as the premise of a house that can move around at will and has feelings , whilst the Baba Yaga is there to help those who have passed on make it safely through the gates.

But Marinka wants more from her life - she wants friends to hang out but that isn't her destiny, so when she takes things into her own hands to suit her own needs it leads to some devastating consequences.

I loved the setting, the beautifully illustrated pages and wonderful way that this story was told. It is full of so much magic and fantasy and explores tenderly the importance of honesty, friendship and the subject of death. Absolute gem of a book and I look forward to more from this author in the future as she has a wonderful gift for storytelling!


Sunday, 24 June 2018

#BookReview The Cafe at Seashell Cove by Karen Clarke #20booksofsummer

About the book

Welcome to the Café at Seashell Cove, where you’ll find irresistible home-baked cakes, smiling friendly faces – and maybe even a second chance at love… 

When Cassie Maitland needs a holiday from her glamorous but stressful job in event management, she escapes home to gorgeous Seashell Cove, where her family’s cosy café sits perched on the cliffs above sparkling waves and golden sand. 

But a lot has changed while Cassie’s been away: her parents have transformed their tired café into a welcoming haven, her friends Meg and Tilly have whole new lives, and old flame Danny’s twinkling eyes and winning smile make Cassie feel even more flustered than they used to. 

Keen to throw herself back into local life, Cassie starts to run themed events – including a not entirely successful cat-café day, complete with dozens of felines. Luckily Danny is always around to lend a helping hand, and Cassie soon begins to wonder if her life in London was really all she made it out to be… 

Could a new start in Seashell Cove be exactly what Cassie needs? 

A heart-warming and hilarious read about friendship, belonging and seaside living. Perfect for fans of Debbie Johnson, Holly Martin and Jenny Oliver. 

Published by  Bookouture

Purchase Link


It always helps when you find yourself laughing at the antics of the characters from page one, and that is what I found myself doing with this book as Cassie returns home to visit her parents! Her parents are so proud of the life she has found herself in - working hard as an events planner - and are always imagining her living such a glamorous lifestyle. The reality is not quite that good and Cassie has returned home as she's been fired and now doesn't know what she wants to do with her life.

As she returns home to her childhood home, all the feelings she had for the idyllic setting return and she starts trying to help arrange events to help raise the profile of her parents cafe - even though while she has been away, they've done an amazing job in redecorating and bringing the cafe into the 21st century. And her efforts don't exactly go to plan so her confidence takes a big hit!

I loved Cassie and her family - they live life to the fullest and don't do normal! And while she is back in Seashell Cove she starts to reconnect with old school friends, Tilly, Meg and Danny. He was her schoolgirl crush and seems to be a jack of all trades as he's helped out her parents and is currently helping her nan with her garden. And even though Cassie has recently split from city boy Adam, she is torn between the lifestyle she had that seemed to make her parents so proud, and a lifestyle of being happy and following her passions in life.

This was such a fun, fresh read and I've found another fictional area that I want to move too - alongside a new fictional boyfriend in Danny! I've not read anything from this author before BUT that will be changing as I'm looking forward to reading more from her!


Saturday, 23 June 2018

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up - Week 24 2018

Hello!! Greeted by this beauty in the garden this morning - it's a Lily I'm helping to trial for the Richard Jackson Garden team and if you are looking for the easiest to look after plant then I'd highly recommend this Lily 'Bright Joy'! We do like a plant that needs very little care!!

The sun continues to shine here in Essex and it seems to have helped no end with my reading and book acquiring habits!! Is that a good thing?! Yes to the first, No to the second! July definitely needs to be a more restrained month on the book buying front...... famous last words!

So this past week I've managed  to finish another 5 books and have acquired 8 books for the shelves! Oops! Here's a little look at all the bookish action! Please click on the book titles for a link to their GoodReads page for more info!


Ahead of the Blog Tour for The Power of Dog I will be on in July, I read these two memoirs from Andrew Marshall and found them to be a really interesting look at grief and how to recover.

I loved revisiting this Little Duck Pond Cafe series and this is number 2 in the series! Really good read!

I loved this dark, menacing read!! Watch out for a full review in July on the Blog Tour!

A magical but often quite dark story! Very enjoyable and that cover is just gorgeous!!


The Rules of Seeing by Joe Heap
Publication Date - 9th August 2018
received from publisher

The Rules of Seeing follows the lives of two women whose paths cross at a time when they need each other most. Nova, an interpreter for the Metropolitan police, has been blind from birth. When she undergoes surgery to restore her sight her journey is just beginning – she now has to face a world in full colour for the first time. Kate, a successful architect and wife to Tony, is in hospital after a blow to the head. There, she meets Nova and what starts as a beautiful friendship soon turns into something more.

Ordered these from Goldsboro Books as part of the Book of the Month club so have received these signed first editions

This is the latest addition to my Alma Classics collection courtesy of their Year of Reading Classics club

Recent winner of the 2018 Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction and it has been on my radar for a while so I treated myself!

I couldn't resist the gorgeous cover this was reissued with for the Virago Modern Classics collection!

An Unbound release that has caught my eye as it just sounds so fascinating!


3 on the go at the mo!


Hope your week has been as good?! Any recommendations or thoughts on this batch of books?! Would love to hear from you!