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Saturday, 16 January 2021

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up - 16th January 2021

 


Hello and Happy Saturday! It's been a soggy old week here for us so my garden is now resembling a bog garden - now if it looked like this scene I stumbled on on a walk locally recently I'd be ok with that! Was a lovely secluded flooded woodland!

Book wise things are going well! Another 5 books finished so I rewarded myself with a little look at Netgalley where 3 newbies took my eye! And I'm keeping up with my 'no buy January' so sorry to all the booksellers for not visiting your websites recently! I'm sure I'll make it up to you later in the year!!

Here's my look back..

BOOKS FINISHED












BOOKHAUL

Netgalley haul....

COMING HOME TO BRIGHTWATER BAY by HOLLY HEPBURN
                                                                      out January 21st
On paper, Merina Wilde has it all: a successful career writing the kind of romantic novels that make even the hardest hearts swoon, a perfect carousel of book launches and parties to keep her social life buzzing, and a childhood sweetheart who thinks she’s a goddess. But Merry has a secret: the magic has stopped flowing from her fingers. Try as she might, she can’t summon up the sparkle that makes her stories shine. And as her deadline whooshes by, her personal life falls apart too. Alex tells her he wants something other than the future she’d always imagined for them and Merry finds herself single for the first time since – well, ever.

Desperate to get her life back on track, Merry leaves London and escapes to the windswept Orkney Islands, locking herself away in a secluded clifftop cottage to try to heal her heart and rediscover her passion for writing. But can the beauty of the islands and the kindness of strangers help Merry to fool herself into believing in love again, if only long enough to finish her book? Or is it time for her to give up the career she’s always adored and find something new to set her soul alight?

THE END OF MEN by CHRISTINA SWEENEY-BAIRD
out February 23rd
Set in a world where a virus stalks our male population, The End of Men is an electrifying and unforgettable debut from a remarkable new talent that asks: what would our world truly look like without men?

Only men are affected by the virus; only women have the power to save us all.

The year is 2025, and a mysterious virus has broken out in Scotland--a lethal illness that seems to affect only men. When Dr. Amanda MacLean reports this phenomenon, she is dismissed as hysterical. By the time her warning is heeded, it is too late. The virus becomes a global pandemic--and a political one. The victims are all men. The world becomes alien--a women's world.

What follows is the immersive account of the women who have been left to deal with the virus's consequences, told through first-person narratives. Dr. MacLean; Catherine, a social historian determined to document the human stories behind the "male plague;" intelligence analyst Dawn, tasked with helping the government forge a new society; and Elizabeth, one of many scientists desperately working to develop a vaccine. Through these women and others, we see the uncountable ways the absence of men has changed society, from the personal--the loss of husbands and sons--to the political--the changes in the workforce, fertility and the meaning of family.

In The End of Men, Christina Sweeney-Baird creates an unforgettable tale of loss, resilience and hope.

PERIMENOPAUSE POWER by MAISIE HILL
out May 2021


From the author of Period Power comes the empowering guide to menopause that all women need, packed with advice on dealing with symptoms and understanding the most effective treatment options.

Three-quarters of women reaching menopause experience symptoms such as mood changes, insomnia, hot flushes, and night sweats, but there is little in the way of evidence-based information out there to help them presented in a way that's engaging and helpful.

Perimenopause Power is here to change that: finally, this is a book for women experiencing perimenopause and menopause who want to understand what's going on with their bodies and how to deal with troublesome symptoms, but also gain valuable insights into making menopause a positive and powerful experience--yes, it's possible!

Perimenopause Power is a handbook that exudes calm positivity and makes sense of complex physiological processes in an easy-to-understand manner, helping women to understand what the hell's going on with them and provide instruction on what can be done to improve their experience of the dreaded "change."

Maisie Hill, the celebrated author of Period Power, delves into the science of menopause in an accessible way and provides a whole slew of tips to see women through the challenge of wildly fluctuating hormones. There is a glaring gap in the market for a well-researched, evidence-based book on menopause that empowers women to address their issues and have conversations with loved ones and their doctors.

CURRENTLY READING



WE BEGIN AT THE END by CHRIS WHITAKER - audiobook




📚📚📚

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

#AudiobookReview HINTON HOLLOW DEATH TRIP by WILL CARVER

 


ABOUT THE BOOK

It's a small story. A small town with small lives that you would never have heard about if none of this had happened.

Hinton Hollow. Population 5,120.

Little Henry Wallace was eight years old and one hundred miles from home before anyone talked to him. His mother placed him on a train with a label around his neck, asking for him to be kept safe for a week, kept away from Hinton Hollow.

Because something was coming.

Narrated by Evil itself, Hinton Hollow Death Trip recounts five days in the history of this small rural town, when darkness paid a visit and infected its residents. A visit that made them act in unnatural ways. Prodding at their insecurities. Nudging at their secrets and desires. Coaxing out the malevolence suppressed within them. Showing their true selves.

Making them cheat.
Making them steal.
Making them kill.

Detective Sergeant Pace had returned to his childhood home. To escape the things he had done in the city. To go back to something simple. But he was not alone. Evil had a plan.

PUBLISHED BY ORENDA BOOKS

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon

Blackwell's

hive.co.uk


MY REVIEW

My first Will Carver book - definitely not my last!! This was bloody brilliant!!! It was dark, twisted, thought provoking, absorbing..... it's fair to say I loved it! And I thought the narration on the audiobook was top drawer!

This is a book narrated by Evil!! Yep, you read that right! And Evil has a lot to comment on as he watches over the goings on Hinton Hollow as darkness hits the inhabitants which sets off a chain reaction of more twisted goings on that affect everyone and leaves them all reeling, and leaves you wondering just what darkness will happen next!

Evil explains how people are! He often doesn't need to manipulate them much, just a little gentle nudge and their own freewill surfaces and shows their true colours. And in the world we live in right now, this book hits home in more ways than one! I never thought I'd be so in agreement with Evil and his perceptions on humanity! Not sure what that says about me!!

The sequence of events are terrifying as they unfold. Someone is picking their victims carefully and it seems nobody is safe. And the perpetrator is seemingly untouchable with little clue as to their motives or identity. There are little hints and flashbacks, but the action mainly takes place over just 5 days. The darkness and the horror seems unstoppable and with Evil narrating, this just adds to the tension and the utter unpredictability of it all.

A truly unique story and I cannot wait to go back and read more of this series - and see what else Will Carver has lined up for us with his future books!! Loved Loved Loved it!!!

★★★★★

#BookReview THE SURPLUS GIRLS' ORPHANS by POLLY HERON @CorvusBooks @SusannaBavin

 


ABOUT THE BOOK

Manchester, 1922

Molly Watson has had enough. Engaged for the last three years to a penny-pinching pedant, she finally decides she’d rather be a ‘surplus girl’ than marry a man she doesn’t truly love. Aware of the need to support herself if she is to remain single all her life, Molly joins a secretarial class to learn new skills, and a whole world opens up to her.

When she gets a job at St Anthony’s Orphanage, she befriends caretaker Aaron Abrams. But a misunderstanding leaves them at loggerheads and damages her in the eyes of the children she has come to care about so deeply. Can Molly recover her reputation, her livelihood and her budding friendship before it’s too late?


PUBLISHED BY CORVUS

AUTHOR WEBSITE


PURCHASE LINKS

AMAZON


MY REVIEW

The second book in The Surplus Girls series, and another brilliant storyline that centres around the women after the war and the expectations that were placed on them by their family and society, no matter what their own hopes and dreams were!

Molly is the main character in this book and she has a spirited story to tell. She is back working at the local sweet shop and engaged to a man whose behaviour will leave you aghast as it did me! But it was the respectable thing for her to do, to tow the line, to marry, to become a mother.. so when Molly decides she wants more for herself it really is frowned upon.

I loved her determination so she sets out to improve her education and prospects and ends up working at the local orphanage, where a whole other set of emotional circumstances let you see another side of life at the times. The story of some of the children -especially Danny - is enough to break your heart and as Molly spends more time with them, along with Aaron the caretaker, they open others' eyes to the plight of these children and to 'think outside the box', so to speak, in how to get through to them and make their lives better.

Molly is a really wonderful character, especially in the era the story is set in. She has a belief in herself and she doesn't just want to settle for the norm! She wants choices and a future and seeing how others perceive her because of these decisions is quite enlightening and makes you cheer her on even harder!

A wonderful read and highly recommended!

★★★★★

My thanks to the author and publisher for the advanced reader copy, in return for a fair and honest review.

#Audiobookreview DAISY JONES AND THE SIX by TAYLOR JENKINS REID

 


ABOUT THE BOOK

9 hours, 3 minutes

Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity . . . until now.

Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.

Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.

Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.

The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice.


Cast List: Daisy Jones, read by Jennifer Beals; Billy Dunne, read by Pablo Schreiber; Graham Dunne, read by Benjamin Bratt; Eddie Loving, read by Fred Berman; Warren Rhodes, read by Ari Fliakos; Karen Karen, read by Judy Greer; Camila Dunne, read by January LaVoy; Simone Jackson, read by Robinne Lee; Narrator/Author, read by Julia Whelan; Jim Blades, read by Jonathan Davis; Rod Reyes, read by Henry Leyva; Artie Snyder, read by Oliver Wyman; Elaine Chang, read by Nancy Wu; Freddie Mendoza, read by P.J. Ochlan; Nick Harris, read by Arthur Bishop; Jonah Berg, read by Holter Graham; Greg McGuinness, read by Brendan Wayne; Pete Loving, read by Pete Larkin; Wyatt Stone, read by Alex Jenkins Reid; Hank Allen, read by Robert Petkoff; Opal Cunningham, read by Sara Arrington
 


MY REVIEW

Did I love this book when I read it back in 2019? YES YES YES!!

my review back then.....

I don't know how the author has done it but she convinced me within a few pages that we were looking back at real people and the experiences during the 1970's and the music business... and I adored every blooming minute of it and just want to read more, and buy merchandise!!! Where are the CD's? The t-shirts?! I want them all!!

It's a very simple story - sex and drugs and rock'n'roll! The fame, the glamour and all the good and bad that follows! Daisy Jones is a young girl who has forever chased affection, seeing as she never got any from her self absorbed parents. She drifts from one thing to another and starts to build up a profile - she's stunning too so that always helps her get away with more than she should!

And when her path crosses with the band The Six, super-stardom is soon on their doorstep and while it may seem a dream to many of us, it often turns into a bit of a nightmare and we get to look back on the highs and lows of their careers in a cleverly told story that reads like a magazine interview, with various viewpoints chipping in with their recollections of different times during the years and it's a great way to tell the story.

Daisy is such a different character to the others in the band, so it's fascinating to see their stories alongside her. While many are happy just to be in the background, the main man of The Six is dealing with his own addictions and issues and he and Daisy make for the main focus of the story and all the headlines the band receive with their clashing personalities and outlooks on how the band should go forward.

I really couldn't put this down once I had started it and I'm already eager to pick it up again and enjoy it all over again!! READ THIS BOOK!!


Do I love it even more now I've listened to the audioversion?! HELL YES!!

There concludes my review..... haha!! 

This was brilliantly brought to life by all the narrators and just felt like you were listening to a rockumentary on the radio as the evolution of Daisy Jones and The Six is brought to life in all its' glory!  The spirit of each character comes across wonderfully well in audio version and makes them feel even more real! Are you sure they weren't a real band?!

If you haven't read this book yet, then I highly recommend giving the audiobook a listen! The cast capture it perfectly!!

★★★★★

Saturday, 9 January 2021

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up - 9th January 2021

 


WE made it!! That felt like the longest week EVER  - or is that just me?!  And still we didn't get any snow here so I'm feeling very left out! I keep living in hope!

On the bookish front, things have got off to a very promising start to 2021! If it continues this way I'm in for a spectacular year of reading! I managed to finish 5 books and stuck to my promise of staying away from Netgalley... it's only been a week but that's a big success for me!!

Here's my little look back at my bookish week...

BOOKS READ

THE SWALLOWED MAN by EDWARD CAREY - 5 STARS











BOOKHAUL

ZERO!!! Yay me!!  I even had a clear out of books this week for the charity shop (when they reopen!) and to sell at We Buy Books!! There still is no space appearing on the shelves....


CURRENTLY READING

CROW COURT by ANDY CHARMAN 


HAPPY READING!!





Thursday, 7 January 2021

#BookReview THE READERS' ROOM by ANTOINE LAURAIN

 


ABOUT THE BOOK

When the manuscript of a debut crime novel arrives at a Parisian publishing house, everyone in the readers’ room is convinced it’s something special. And the committee for France’s highest literary honour, the Prix Goncourt, agrees.

But when the shortlist is announced, there’s a problem for editor Violaine Lepage: she has no idea of the author’s identity. As the police begin to investigate a series of murders strangely reminiscent of those recounted in the book, Violaine is not the only one looking for answers. And, suffering memory blanks following an aeroplane accident, she’s beginning to wonder what role she might play in the story …

Antoine Laurain, bestselling author of The Red Notebook, combines intrigue and charm in this dazzling novel of mystery, love and the power of books.
 

PUBLISHED BY GALLIC BOOKS


PURCHASE LINKS

Publisher Website

blackwell's


MY REVIEW

This is the story of a debut crime novel that is a massive success, but those who published it have no idea of the author! And when some of the murder scenes from the book happen in real life, the police want to find out more from Violaine who is part of the publishing house that put the book out! What follows is full of twists and turns and revelations that kept me gripped until the end!

It also gives a wonderful glimpse into the life of a publishing house in Paris. The fact that they receive many more misses than hits in their submissions pile, although I do love the idea of being part of the Readers' Room where Violaine started off her life by reading books ready to locate the next big smash, and worked her way up through the company that way!

Her life is blighted by a plane crash that leaves her in a coma, and then the memory lapses add to her distress, especially as she only seems to be forgetting certain parts of her life.

This was a very clever and intriguing read and I loved the way the story was told - the flashes into the past, the investigation side of the story and the characters evolving.

★★★★

#BookReview THE SWALLOWED MAN by EDWARD CAREY

 


ABOUT THE BOOK

I am writing this account, in another man's book, by candlelight, inside the belly of a fish. I have been eaten. I have been eaten, yet I am living still. From the acclaimed author of Little comes this beautiful and haunting imagining of the years Geppetto spends within the belly of a sea beast.

Drawing upon the Pinocchio story while creating something entirely his own, Carey tells an unforgettable tale of fatherly love and loss, pride and regret, and of the sustaining power of art and imagination.

PUBLISHED BY GALLIC BOOKS

PURCHASE LINKS

Publisher Website - signed hardback

hive.co.uk


MY REVIEW


This is a re-telling of the story of Pinochio, from the viewpoint of Geppetto as he sits inside the belly of a fish, and you can't help but be transfixed by the haunting desperation of a man as he looks back on his time as a parent, albeit to a wooden boy he created.

This is an extraodinary story and really centres on the despair and loneliness of a man, who created a boy to share his life with and the impact that had on him. The lengths it has driven him to when the little boy runs away. As Geppetto sits inside the fish awaiting his fate, he writes his story down on paper to share with his son, along with drawings and it is striking on how much his childhood was impacted by his own father and how that has shaped him as a man and father to Pinochio.

From the moment his son takes shape from the wood he uses to carve him, we see the impact of that relationship on both sides. How the meanness of Geppetto affected the young boy, but over time the father/son relationship strengthened and he grew to appreciate the company that having a family brought to him.

These are the books that I love to read! They're quirky, different and aren't afraid to approach storytelling from a different viewpoint. It shows the darkness and insanity of loneliness in stark terms and you're left with an overwhelming sadness for Geppetto as he looks back over his life.

One sentence really stuck out for me especially 'I crept about in the background of life' and that clearly showed how he felt undervalued, and unloved until this little wooden boy appeared in his life to give him a purpose in his lonely life.

A stunning little book.

★★★★★

#AudioBookReview THE LIVING MOUNTAIN by NAN SHEPHERD

 


ABOUT THE BOOK

The Living Mountain is a lyrical testament in praise of the Cairngorms. It is a work deeply rooted in Nan Shepherd's knowledge of the natural world, and a poetic and philosophical meditation on our longing for high and holy places. Drawing on different perspectives of the mountain environment, Shepherd makes the familiar strange and the strange awe-inspiring. Her sensitivity and powers of observation put her into the front rank of nature writing.

PUBLISHED BY CANONGATE BOOKS


MY REVIEW

I listened to the audio version of this book.

Written in the 1940's and hidden in a drawer until the 1970's, this is a stunningly beautiful and enchanting 'ode to the Cairngorms'. The wonderful language used throughout is brought to life exquisitely by Tilda Swinton, and even has bird song in the background which just adds to the feeling of calm and serenity that I had when listening.

Nan Shepherd was a woman who lived in Scotland her whole life and devoted her time to being amongst nature and walking the hills and mountains, taking note of all she saw around her and that lesson comes across loud and proud with her attention to detail. A very relevant lesson to us all, especially in these times, to take note of the little things you see, hear and smell around you.

She explores the wildlife living in the mountains, the danger to life and the changing and perilous weather experienced throughout the year. She shares her own recollections of climbs and walks, and what each journey taught her about herself. Just time with herself in nature made her feel so much and gave her life and energy.

Beautifully written and beautifully read!

★★★★

#BookReview PANENKA by RONAN HESSION

 


ABOUT THE BOOK

His name was Joseph, but for years they had called him Panenka, a name that was his sadness and his story. Panenka has spent 25 years living with the disastrous mistakes of his past, which have made him an exile in his home town and cost him his dearest relationships. Now aged 50, Panenka begins to rebuild an improvised family life with his estranged daughter and her seven year old son.

But at night, Panenka suffers crippling headaches that he calls his Iron Mask. Faced with losing everything, he meets Esther, a woman who has come to live in the town to escape her own disappointments. Together, they find resonance in each other’s experiences and learn new ways to let love into their broken lives.

PUBLISHED BY BLUEMOOSE BOOKS

PUBLICATION DATE - 26TH MAY 2021

PRE-ORDER LINKS


Blackwell's

hive.co.uk


MY REVIEW

I wanted my first book read in 2021 to be a stunner - I haven't been disappointed!! The champion writer of capturing human emotions and life dilemmas faced is back with this breathtaking piece that brings us the character of Panenka, who in his 50's and is suffering cripping late night headaches, and has done so since his football career finished. With the recent reports of ex footballers dealing with head injuries after their careers, this is a timely release but centres mostly on the effect of those dealing with the consequences and trying to carry on - and often sticking their head in the sand hoping it's just a headache and nothing too serious.

Surrounding Panenka is his family - his daughter and his beloved grandson Arthur - and they're very close which is something that hasn't always been that way. But time and his failing health, has given Panenka space to reflect and regret and in this book it shows the side of life when we overthink, we rue decisions made and play out moments in our head thinking how life could have been so different.

While he's dealing with struggling to ask for help, we also have flashbacks to his football career for the team Seneca FC. It plays a huge part in the local community and their lives, making stars of their players and how the good times, and bad, on the pitch played out over the years. As a football fan myself, I often forget the 'humans' behind the names, and it was fascinating to read Panenka and his story of key moments in his football career and the impact they had on him as a person. The jubilation after a great game, the despair after a bad one.....

But overall, it's a story of human emotions. Those who struggle to reach out and ask for help, of people feeling unloved or unwanted, rarely showing a vunerability and wanting to find a connection with someone that leaves you able to share your fears instead of feeling like a burden and that you'll upset your loved ones by sharing too much. It's about living with regrets and trying to make up for them and all those 'if only' moments.....

An absolutely spectacular read and one I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to start the year off with..... is it too early to make my '2021 books of the year' list??!!! Wonderful!!

★★★★★

Saturday, 2 January 2021

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up - 2nd January 2021

 


Hello!! Happy New Year!! What will this year have in store for us I wonder?? I'm seriously considering locking myself away for 12 months with books - sounds like a safer plan than venturing out into the mad world!!

As for all things bookish, it's been a very slow end to the year reading wise! No surprise! So this week I've finished 0 books!!! And I've also stayed away from Netgalley so there is an upside!!! The downside(!) was getting gift vouchers from Santa and friends so that meant a few books have arrived this week! And no, Santa didn't bring me a new bookcase so I'm still in need of new ideas for book storage!!

So this week, my look back is really a bookhaul/bookpost post!!  Never a bad thing!!


SQUARE HAUNTING by FRANCESCA WADE

Mecklenburgh Square, on the radical fringes of interwar Bloomsbury, was home to activists, experimenters and revolutionaries; among them were the modernist poet H. D., detective novelist Dorothy L. Sayers, classicist Jane Harrison, economic historian Eileen Power, and writer and publisher Virginia Woolf. They each alighted there seeking a space where they could live, love and, above all, work independently.

Francesca Wade's spellbinding group biography explores how these trailblazing women pushed the boundaries of literature, scholarship, and social norms, forging careers that would have been impossible without these rooms of their own.

THE VANISHING HALF by BRIT BENNETT

From the New York Times-bestselling author of The Mothers, a stunning new novel about twin sisters, inseparable as children, who ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds, one black and one white.

The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it's not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it's everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Ten years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters' storylines intersect?

Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person's decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.

THE LEFT-HANDED BOOKSELLERS OF LONDON by GARTH NIX

In a slightly alternate London in 1983, Susan Arkshaw is looking for her father, a man she has never met. Crime boss Frank Thringley might be able to help her, but Susan doesn't get time to ask Frank any questions before he is turned to dust by the prick of a silver hatpin in the hands of the outrageously attractive Merlin.

Merlin is a young left-handed bookseller (one of the fighting ones), who with the right-handed booksellers (the intellectual ones), are an extended family of magical beings who police the mythic and legendary Old World when it intrudes on the modern world, in addition to running several bookshops.

Susan's search for her father begins with her mother's possibly misremembered or misspelt surnames, a reading room ticket, and a silver cigarette case engraved with something that might be a coat of arms.

Merlin has a quest of his own, to find the Old World entity who used ordinary criminals to kill his mother. As he and his sister, the right-handed bookseller Vivien, tread in the path of a botched or covered-up police investigation from years past, they find this quest strangely overlaps with Susan's. Who or what was her father? Susan, Merlin, and Vivien must find out, as the Old World erupts dangerously into the New.

BETTY by TIFFANY MCDANIEL

A stunning, lyrical novel set in the rolling foothills of the Appalachians in which a young girl discovers stark truths that will haunt her for the rest of her life.

"A girl comes of age against the knife."

So begins the story of Betty Carpenter. Born in a bathtub in 1954 to a Cherokee father and white mother, Betty is the sixth of eight siblings. The world they inhabit is one of poverty and violence--both from outside the family, and also, devastatingly, from within. The lush landscape, rich with birdsong, wild fruit, and blazing stars, becomes a kind of refuge for Betty, but when her family's darkest secrets are brought to light, she has no choice but to reckon with the brutal history hiding in the hills, as well as the heart-wrenching cruelties and incredible characters she encounters in her rural town of Breathed, Ohio.

But despite the hardship she faces, Betty is resilient. Her curiosity about the natural world, her fierce love for her sisters, and her father's brilliant stories are kindling for the fire of her own imagination, and in the face of all she bears witness to, Betty discovers an escape: she begins to write. She recounts the horrors of her family's past and present with pen and paper and buries them deep in the dirt--moments that has stung her so deeply, she could not tell them, until now.

PANDORA'S JAR by NATALIE HAYNES

The Greek myths are one of the most important cultural foundation-stones of the modern world.

Stories of gods and monsters are the mainstay of epic poetry and Greek tragedy, from Homer to Virgil to from Aeschylus to Sophocles and Euripides. And still, today, a wealth of novels, plays and films draw their inspiration from stories first told almost three thousand years ago. But modern tellers of Greek myth have usually been men, and have routinely shown little interest in telling women’s stories.

Now, in Pandora’s Jar, Natalie Haynes – broadcaster, writer and passionate classicist – redresses this imbalance. Taking Greek creation myths as her starting point and then retelling the four great mythic sagas: the Trojan War, the Royal House of Thebes, Jason and the Argonauts, Heracles, she puts the female characters on equal footing with their menfolk. The result is a vivid and powerful account of the deeds – and misdeeds - of Hera, Aphrodite, Athene and Circe. And away from the goddesses of Mount Olympus it is Helen, Clytemnestra, Jocasta, Antigone and Medea who sing from these pages, not Paris, Agamemnon, Orestes or Jason.


MOONOLOGY DIARY 2021 by YASMIN BOLAND

Some of the most intense astrology we've seen for a while is coming our way in 2021. It's the year of the Great Conjunction, a huge event in the astrological calendar and the perfect time to make big shifts, break free of whatever has been holding you back and create some real magic in your life.

In this diary, you'll discover:

· how to work with the rare energies of 2021
· all the details of the key lunar events of this year
· how the four eclipses, four Super Moons and one Blue Moon will affect you
· powerful affirmations and guidance about harnessing the possibilities at each New and Full Moon

This diary is your compass to navigate this year of big breakthroughs, consciously and intentionally. With the magical Moon as your guide, you can push through any obstacle, achieve your goals and manifest a life of joy!


CURRENTLY READING

ONE SECRET SUMMER by LESLEY LOKKO



Friday, 1 January 2021

My Bookish 2021 Resolutions......

 


Well, I'm going to try and keep them anyway!!! I don't normally do many resolutions as it doesn't end well, BUT maybe 2021 is the year to make things stick and to get in to some new good habits!!

And good habits are what I need on the bookish front!  While I do my best to stay organised, it's normally organised chaos and I have a tendency to lose the plot at times, so this year ahead is my chance to change things...... stop laughing!!

So here's a few little resolutions I'm hoping to keep.. and we'll see how it all goes!!  If this post gets deleted before the end of January, you'll know it has been a big fail!!


1.  Netgalley

My favourite place!! But the shelves are currently way too crammed with books that I had good intentions of reading before publication but failed too! I even wrote the publication dates on my calendar to try and organise my reading schedule around - nope,didn't work!  So this year I will be more restrained on accumulating new titles and do my best to catch up on the backlog....

2.  Book buying!!

I could say I'm not going to buy ANY books all year.... but we know that isn't going to happen! So this year I plan to be more thoughtful with my book purchasing!!  I have had a tendency in the past to notice a title online and rush out and buy it, only for it to sit on the shelves for months/years unopened! This year I'll be writing down titles that interest me in a notebook to keep track of them all and then see if my interest holds out after a while and then treat myself!!

3. Blog Tours

I love them! It is so nice to be part of them all and they've introduced me to so many amazing books I never would normally have known about! But I do have a habit of signing up for too many and then feeling under pressure to read by the date - it's like homework! So I hope to be a little more selective and restrict myself to a few each month, knowing that I'll be able to manage the reading schedule better!

4. Audiobooks

The end of 2020 made me listen to more audiobooks, via the library app, as it meant I could multi-task and listen to a book whilst doing cross stitch or playing Uno on the Switch!  And that's made me very happy so it needs to be done more often!  Still finding my way on what speed I like listening to them at - normal speed just seems too slow to me!

5. Read, Review, Repeat

This year I have found the reading part of blogging very easy! The reviewing not so much and I've been known to build up a backlog of reviews as I just keep launching into a new book and then by the time I get round to writing the review I've forgotten lots of bits!! So I'm hoping this new year I will get better at writing a review straight after I've read the book! Even if it's just a saved draft copy!

6. Bookshelves

Out of control! That is all!! This needs to be remedied!! Why am I holding on to books I'm not going to read again? Obviously I'll keep favourites, signed copies, proofs etc, but I need to be more ruthless in 'letting go' of books to give them  a new home with a new reader! They also need to be better organised as they're a bit of a mish mash at the moment, with books read mixed in with books on the TBR pile! A work in progress..

7.  Notebooks

I need to write down notes as I read a book as I have a memory like a sieve! So this means I have a nice collection of notebooks to use but also find myself using different notebooks for various different review notes! This doesn't make life easy when I'm looking back for a review and can't remember which notebook I've used! So I need to streamline the system and just use one or two notebooks from now on, instead of the multitude I use now... obviously this won't stop me buying notebooks because stationery innit!!

8.  Social Media

The pointless scrolling needs to stop!! Twitter especially!! I love my Twitter timeline and all the lovely people that appear on it BUT it has a hypnotic effect on me as I 'just' scroll through one more time in case I missed something! And in the book world, there's always something going on, a competition, a shout out for proofs available, a new reading challenge to join in with...... time needs to be restricted!!

9.  Calendar

I've found that by having a separate 'book' calendar with publication dates etc on it, has really helped me keep up with various books in the past so I need to carry this over into 2021.  It just gave me a little more focus and helped me shape my reading plan for the weeks ahead - if only I could remember to update the calendar every now and then with release dates as I get them!

10. Read the books you enjoy!

It's so easy, especially now with social media, to pick up a book that everyone else is talking about because of FOMO.  But I've often found that some of those talked about books just don't gel well with me reading wise! And then I get annoyed at myself for wasting valuable bookish time just to fit in! So no more! I will just pick up a book I choose that fits with my mood at the time and enjoy myself!!

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So there we have it! I'm going to fail miserably aren't I?!! 🤣🤣🤣 

What bookish resolutions will you make, if any?! I wish you luck if you do decide to make some!

HAPPY READING!!