June Wrap Up Part 2

Part two of my wrap up again had a wide variety of reads from YA to historical. I will again try my best to blog my reviews on these books.

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

Convenience Store Woman

Keiko doesn’t fit in.

She’s thirty-six years old, she’s never had a boyfriend and she’s been working in the same convenience store for eighteen years.

Her parents wish she’d get a better job. Her friends wonder why she won’t get married.

But Keiko knows makes her happy, and she’s not going to let anyone take her away from her convenience store…..

Convenience Store Woman is published by Granta.

All That Impossible Space by Anna Morgan

Lara Laylor is doing her best to navigate the mysteries of Year 10; boys, enigmatic new students, and a drama queen friend who always takes centre stage.

When new history teacher Mr Grant gives her a special assignment to investigate the Somerton May mystery, Lara finally starts to feel like she’s standing in the spotlight. Found dead on an Adelaide beach in 1948, the labels cut out of his clothes, the Somerton Man has intrigued people for years. Was he a spy? A criminal?

And then Mr Grant goes missing…and Lara is convinced that his disappearance is part of a wider conspiracy. Has her obsession with the Somerton Man developed her powers of deduction? Or is Lara being led into a mystery darker than even she expects?

All That Impossible Space is published by Hachette Children.

Hive by A.J Betts

A. J. Betts: Hive: The Vault Book 1

All I can tell you is what I remember, in the words that I have.

Hayley tends to her bees and follows the rules in the only world she has ever known.

Until she witnesses the impossible: a drip from the ceiling.

A drip? It doesn’t make sense.

Yet she hears it, catches it. Tastes it.

Curiosity is a hook.

What starts as a drip leads to a lie, a death, a boy, a beast and too many awful questions.

Hive is published by Pan.

The Mummy Bloggers by Holly Wainwright

The Mummy Bloggers

Elle Campbell is a glossy, lycra-clad mum with washboard abs, a ten-year plan and a secret past.

Abi Black has quit sugar, moved to the country and is homeschooling her kids.

Leisel Adams slogs away at her office job each day before rushing home, steeped in guilt, to spend previous moments with her kids before bedtime.

All three share a label that they simultaneously relish and loathe; mummy blogger. And when they are nominated for an award with a hefty cash prize, the scene is set for a brutal and often hilarious battle for hearts, minds – and clicks. As the awards night gets closer, their lies get bigger; their stunts get crazier – and some mistakes from the past become harder and harder to hide.

The Mummy Bloggers is published by Legend Press.

The Five The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack The Ripper – Hallie Rubenhold

The Five

Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary Jane are famous for the same thing, though they never met. They came from Fleet Street, Knightsbridge, Wolverhampton, Sweden and Wales. They wrote ballads, ran coffee houses, lived on country estates, they breathed ink-dust from printing presses and escaped people-traffickers.

What they had in common was the year od their murders: 1888.

Their murderer was never identified, but the name created for him by the press has become more famous than any of these women.

The Five is published by Penguin.

I’d Rather Be Reading by Anne Bogel

I'd Rather Be Reading

Reading isn’t just a way to pass the time – it’s a lifestyle. Books shape, define, and enchant us. They are part of who we are and we can’t imagine life without them. In this collection of charming and relatable reflections, beloved blogger and author Anne Bogel leads you to remember the book that first hooked you, the place where you first fell in love with reading, and all the books and moments afterward that helped make you the reader you are today.

I’d Rather Be Reading is published by Baker Books.

Annelies A Novel of Anne Frank by David Gillham

Annelies

Anne Frank’s extraordinary diaries have captivated millions of people around the world. But what might have happened if she had survived the war?

It is 1945, and Anne Frank is sixteen years old. Having survived the concentration camps but lost her mother and sister, she reunited with her father, Pim, in newly liberated Amsterdam. But Anne is adrift, haunted by the ghost of her sister, Margot, and the atrocities they experienced. Her beloved diary is gone, and her dreams of becoming a writer seem distant and pointless now.

As Anne struggles to build a new life for herself, she grapples with overwhelming grief, heartbreak, and ultimately forgiveness. In this masterful story of trauma and redemption, David Gillham explores with breathtaking empathy the woman – and the writer – Anne Frank might have become.

Annelies is published by Penguin.

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Rogue – A. J Betts

Rogue is the sequel to A.J. Betts amazing novel Hive. I have read both books, and I do believe it would be beneficial for readers to start with Hive as it really does set the scene for Rogue and you would have a clearer understanding around some of the characters mentioned.

We follow the story of Hayley who has gone Rogue. She has left her world and has come to the big wide world because she asked too many questions and her community had considered her to be “mad” when in fact she was curious and just asked questions which I felt her community members felt too uncomfortable to ever answer them. They obviously were hiding something and did not want any disruption through their community.

What you suddenly realise is Hayley does not know the simple words for objects or scenes like ocean, sky, horizon and people. She has to learn all of this herself until she meets a family who seem to embrace her eccentric behavior however, they may have better understanding about her backstory then she had ever anticipated and may be able to fill in the gaps that reside in her mind.

We are dropped into the future at this point and the world has certainly changed from what we see as it is today. Animals have died out and life has changed significantly. The countries have changed, how they are governed have changed and the people have. Although, the one thing that has not changed and simply cannot be raised is stories from the past and people’s memories.

You feel the community questioning whether the changes that have occurred with the world whether they could have been stopped due to changes in the past humans behavior and if they had anticipated such a dramatic change, steps could have been put in place to ensure this change does not happen. A.J Betts certainly covers topics that are in the forefront of most people’s minds and that is climate change and what can we do to stop this effecting future generations.

When I lived in the United Kingdom, I was aware of climate changes and made certain changes to my lifestyles to embrace the changes the government wanted to implement. However, since emigrated to Australia you can see the climate change and the impact on the land and the people with odd weather patterns, floods and animals and plants dying out. It is noticeable here and now I want to ensure my little family do as much as possible to play our part in ensuring the generations ahead of us have everything we have and more. A.J Betts also covers migration without really smacking you in the face with it. Rogue just covers all of the topics that need to be discussed, not just in Australia but all countries and how we treat migrants. All I can to A.J is bravo – I believe these topics being aimed at YA audience will hopefully make positive changes and sparks conversations.

Throughout Rogue we follow Hayley’s curiosity, but we also see an amazing event happen. That is she feels that she belongs. It was a beautiful moment when people seem to genuinely care and want her to be a part of the community, provide love and support even when they did not really know who she was. She felt safe and felt that she could talk about everything and anything without the fear of repercussions.

What I loved most about this book was the scene setting and atmosphere it was simply mind blowing the writing was perfection. This is an amazing series for all to read and one that did not disappoint. I am going to be keeping these books for my children when they are older and I will be reading these to them, I think they will adore them as much as I did.

Thank you A.J and keep up the amazing story-telling.

 

There was no going back; there was no choice, anymore. I’d chosen out and this was it; hot-cold, dry-wet, bright-dark and lonely.

Haley has gone rogue.

She’s left everything she’s ever known – her friends, her bees, her whole world – all because her curiosity was too big to fit within the walls of her underwater home.

But what is this new world she’s found? Is it somewhere she can belong?

Or will she have to keep running?

Rogue is published by Pan Macmillan

Why Mummy Doesn’t Give A **** – Gill Sims

Why Mummy Doesn’t Give a ****! Hardcover  by

When I was asked if I wanted to review Gill Sims new book Why Mummy Doesn’t Give A **** I simply could not refuse. Gill is one of my favourite authors who gives a real-life experience in what it is really like to raise children.

We return back to Ellen’s life with her husband and two children Jane and Peter and the next instalment of their life. Life has significantly changed for everyone and the dream Ellen had seemed to be fading into the distance. Ellen now has bigger issues to deal with and that is her children becoming teenagers and having to deal with their issues and Ellen trying to work out what on earth is going on with her life. She is used as a cook and driver for her children and basically as a maid. This is my life in the future. My two children are only two and three but at present eat me out of house and home – so I am dreading the teenage years and Gills writing certainly gave me a glimpse into my life into the future.

“In those dark days when they were babies and toddlers, I never thought they’d grow up. I thought they’d be little forever, and God knows, some of those long, long days certainly felt like forever. But all of a sudden they went and grew up when I was not looking.”

What I most adore about Gill’s books is the honesty, life is hard and does not sugar coat the issues that we all go through whereas others paint their lives as being perfect – guess what they are probably not. Ellen is such a relatable, likeable character who I just want to befriend and have a few gin and tonics with. I could relate to the loneliness and the feeling that you are on your own and you just need to get on with on your own as you cannot rely on anyone else.
Ellen is just an amazing woman, mother and friend. She is trying to gasp her own identity, not just being a mother, you can see that she is becoming Ellen a real-life person. I think I have more steps to go before I get my identity back, but hope to get there soon.

Jane and Peter well what can I say about their characters, they are teenagers, so every day they change one minute your embarrassing, they hate you, love you or just need you to drive them somewhere or feed them. You go through a wide range of emotions with both children, but what I felt about them was there love for Ellen it was at times very discreet – but, it was there.

Gill continues with her series of Why Mummy Doesn’t…. don’t worry you do not have to have read her previous books, but my advice is to read them because they are belly laughing funny and are the early years of becoming a parent and you follow Ellen’s life.
I would recommend all of Gill Sims books.

Family begins with a capital eff

I’m wondering how many more f*cking ‘phases’ I have to endure before my children become civilized and functioning members of society? It seems like people have been telling me ‘it’s just a phase!’ for the last fifteen bloody years. Not sleeping through the night is ‘just a phase’. Potty training and the associated accidents ‘is just a phase’. The tantrums of the terrible twos are ‘just a phase’. The picky eating, the back chat, the obsessions. The toddler refusals to nap, the teenage inability to leave their beds before 1pm without a rocket being put up their arse. The endless singing of Frozen songs, the dabbing, the weeks when apparently making them wear pants was akin to child torture. All ‘just phases!’. When do the ‘phases’ end though? WHEN?

Mummy dreams of a quirky rural cottage with roses around the door and chatty chickens in the garden. Life, as ever is not going quite as she planned. Paxo, Oxo and Bistro turn out to be highly rambunctious, rather than merely chatty, and the roses have jaggy thorns. Her precious moppets are now giant teenagers, and instead of wittering at her about who would win in a fight – a dragon badger or a ninja horse – they are Snapchatting the night away, stropping around the tiny cottage and communicating mainly in grunts – except when they are demanding Ellen provides taxi services in the small hours. And there is never, but never, any milk in the house. At least the one thing they can all agree on is that rescued Barry the Wolfdog may indeed be The Ugliest Dog in the World, but he is also the loveliest.

Why Mummy Doesn’t Give a **** is published by Harper Collins

Other books available in the series

why-mummy-swears

why-mummy-drinks-the-journal

why-mummy-drinks

All That Impossible Space – Anna Morgan

Since moving to Australia, I have been looking into reading as many different Australian writers from both adult and YA, and I am pleased that I was introduced to Anna’s writing as All That Impossible Space did not disappoint.

During the book we follow two stories, which run parallel to one another one now and the other in 1948. Lara is a young person who is doing her best to try and survive school and just being a young person and the dilemmas that brings. She is given a history project to looking into the Somerton Man mystery which to this day has never been solved. It happens that I live quite near to Somerton Beach so had to take a look for myself.

Anna tells the story of the mystery surrounding the death of a mystery man on Somerton Beach, Adelaide. This man had no identity, the labels were cut out of his clothes and he was found in a three piece suit on a beach. The police spend a lot of time and efforts to try and reunite him with his family or friends, however, nothing is forthcoming. From talking to some of the local residents, this mystery still is continues, one resident says that there were rumours that he was a time traveler and others just were interested in what I knew about the mystery. I just referred them to the amazing book Anna has written.

Mr Grant who was Lara’s history teacher gave her this special assignment and seemed to be spending more time with Lara around this mystery. Mr Grant is a mystery himself, which leads to Lara thinking about a range of conspiracy theories not only about the Somerton Mystery but Mr Grant. Mr Grant initially appears to be a “cool” teacher who has a passion for History which he just wants to share with his pupils.

“History is like a map to the past, but it’s a map that hasn’t been filled in, a map with lots of gaps in it. It’s about the gaps between all the things we know, and what happens when we try to fill those gaps. That’s where the magic happens. Because some of those mysteries of the past can never be solved – unless you can prove me wrong.”

During the book, we also have to deal with Lara’s friend Ash. She is apparently Lara’s best friend. I found her a distasteful and controlling bully who seemed to almost hold Lara to ransom because she helped her out once. Lara is just a young woman who is trying to be a good friend with no motive she just wants a companion. She seems to find that in Kate, who moves the area. Initially, you get the impression Kate is a bit strange, but what Lara finds out is that Kate is trying to be good friend, providing support and guidance and simply being their when Lara needs her the most. What you see evolving throughout the novel, is Lara learning what a friend means. It is an incredibly powerful moment, when you can see Lara starting to learn what really makes a good friend and it is okay to challenge people’s behaviours, yes it may be uncomfortable to start with, but it will make you feel so much better in the long run.

You sense Lara’s loss with her sister, Hannah travelling, and only communicating via a postcard every now and then. Lara continued to communicate with Hannah, by leaving her emails, she did not respond back. I felt the silence from Hannah was difficult for Lara, I felt that during this time Lara really needed her big sister support and guidance even if it was a few words it did not have to be in her presence. Lara seemed to understand that perhaps her sister was going through her own issues and needed some time away to get her head around the big wide world. Lara’s maturity and love for her sister was such that she seemed to respect her sisters needs, but you still felt her longing to have some sort of communication as she cherished the postcards that were sent. You could feel Lara’s heart filling up with joy when she had the postcards, but was desperate to respond and ask questions about life, and moving into the scary world of being and adult.

All That Impossible Space is a beautiful journal of friendship, the good, bad and ugly and truly reflects the dilemmas young people go through every day mixed with a historical mystery which leaves you asking questions. This novel is a love letter for what a true friendship is and what a toxic friendship is and gives you permission to deal with the toxicity in relationships. What an amazing debut novel, Anna had a magical touch in her writing when exploring relationships and the thought processes young people go through as well as dealing with the other complexities in their lives. Anna gives young people a voice, one so loud it makes adults sit up and listen. I was left wanting to help Lara solve this mystery, but came to realise that at times mysteries just remain that.

Anna Morgan is an author to watch.

About the Book

How do you solve a 70-year-old mystery when you can’t even figure out your own life?

Lara Laylor is doing her best to navigate the mysteries of Year 10; boys, enigmatic new students, and a drama queen friend who always takes centre stage.

When new history teacher Mr Grant gives her a special assignment to investigate the Somerton Man mystery, Lara finally starts to feel like she’s standing in the spotlight. Found dead on an Adelaide beach in 1948, the labels cut out of his clothes, the Somerton Man has intrigued people for years. Was he a spy? A criminal?

And then Mr Grant goes missing…..and Lara is convinced that his disappearance is part of a wider conspiracy. Has her obsession with the Somerton Man developed her powers of deduction? Or is Lara being led into a mystery darker than even she expects?

About The Author

Anna Morgan was born in Sydney, but spent most of her childhood surrounded by mountains in Nepal and Tibet while her parents were part of an international community of health professionals. Navigating this cross-cultural life made her curious observer of people, although most of her time was spent reading Enid Blyton and dreaming of going to boarding school. This did not cushion the shock of shifting from home-school in Tibet to an all-girls high school in Melbourne when her family returned to Australia. All That Impossible Space explores some of the intense and convoluted friendships that thrive in this setting. Anna completed a MA in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University in 2015, and now lives in Melbourne with her husband. She works as a bookseller.

Other Information 

Author Links
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/amorgs/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/annalauramorgan
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18991287.Anna_Morgan

Bank Holiday Reads June 2019

In Australia this weekend has been a bank holiday, which to be honest does not mean much to me with being a stay at home mother. I end up doing the same stuff pretty much everyday. However, this weekend I have made a conscious effort to read a bit more as I have been to the local library and reserved a lot of books recently which I am desperate to read.

I have managed to get through a couple of books, and I am in the process of writing reviews for all of them which will be on the blog shortly.

Dyschronia

The first book I read was Dyschronia by Jennifer Mills.

One morning, the residents of a small coastal town somewhere in Australia wake up to discover the sea has disappeared. One among them has been plagued by troubling visions of this cataclysm for years. Is she a prophet? Does she have a disorder that alters her perception of time? Or is she a gifted and compulsive liar?

Oscillating between the future and the past, Dyschronia is a novel that tantalizes and dazzles as one woman’s prescient nightmares become entangled with her town’s uncertain fate.

Margaret the First

The next book I managed to get through was a short book Margaret The First by Danielle Dutton.

While Margaret Cavendish addressed the Royal Society in 1667, Samuel Pepys recorded that her dress was so antic and her department is unordinary that ‘I do not like her at all’. And indeed, here vividly brought to life by Danielle Dutton, the shy, gifted and wildly unconventional duchess is wholly ‘unordinary’ and all the better for it.

Exiled to Paris at the start of the English Civil War, Margaret Meets and marries William Cavendish and, with his encouragement begins publishing volumes of poetry and philosophy, which soon becomes the talk of London. After the Restoration, upon their return to England, Margaret’s infamy grows. She causes controversy wherever she goes, once attending the theatre with breasts bared, and earns herself the nickname ‘Mad Madge’.

Yet while scorned by many, to others Margaret is a visionary, and to later readers including Virginia Woolf – she was an early precursor of feminism. She was the first woman invited to the Royal Society – and the last for 200 years – and the first English woman to write explicitly for publication. Unjustly neglected by history, Margaret The First – as she styled herself – was a bright, shining paradox.

The Lucky Galah - Tracy Sorensen

The third book I read was The Lucky Galah by Tracy Sorensen.

It’s 1969 and a remote coastal town in Western Australia is posed to play a pivotal part in the moon landing. Perched on the red dunes of its outskirts looms the great Dish; a relay for messages between Apollo 11 and Houston, Texas. Radar technician Evan Johnson and his colleagues stare transfixed, at the moving images on the console – although his glossy young wife, Linda seems distracted. Meanwhile the people of Port Badminton have gathered to watch Armstrong’s small step on a single television sitting centre stage in the old theatre. The Kelly family, a crop of redheads, sit in rare silence. Roo shooters at the back of the hall squint through their rifle sights to see the tiny screen.

I’m in my cage on the Kelly’s back verandah. I sit here, unheard, underestimated, biscuit crumbs on my beak. But fate is a curious thing. For just as Evan Johnson’s story is about to end, (and perhaps with a giant leap), mystery prepares to take flight.

A full review of these three books will be on the blog shortly.

Coming Soon….Review of Hive and Rouge by A.J.Betts

Recently, because I have been preparing to emigrate and with moving to Australia, book tours have not really been my priority. Together, with the frustration I had with agreeing to take on many tours (I know its my own fault) and then realising, I was struggling with either being bored with being committed to reading certain books and never reading my own books I took the decision to stop.

The reason I decided to take on this blog tour, was I was really interested in reading books that potentially, I would never pick up and I was just really intrigued to read this series. My blog tour date is 2 July 2019, you must come back to the blog to see what my views were for Rouge, and I am going to do a full review for Hive too.

Rogue is the sequel to Hive which is written by the award winning A.J Betts and published by Pan Macmillan Australia

All I can tell you is what I remember in the words that I have.

Hayley tends to her bees and follows the rules in the only world she has ever known.

Until she witnesses the impossible; a drip from the ceiling.

A drip? It doesn’t make sense.

Yet she hears it, catches it. Tastes it.

Curiosity is a hook.

What starts as a drip leads to a lie, a death, a boy, a beast and too many awful questions.

Rouge is part of the blog tour and is the second book in the series.

There was no going back; there was no choice, anymore. I’d chosen out and this was it; hot- cold, dry-wet, bright-dark and lonely.

Hayley has gone rogue.

She’s left everything she’s every known – her friends, her bees, her whole world – all because her curiosity was too big to fit within the walls of the underwater home she was forced to flee.

But what is this new world she’s come to? Has Hayley finally found somewhere she can belong?

Or will she have to keep running?

Full review of Rogue will be available on 2 July 2019

April 2019 Wrap Up Part 2

April has been a great reading month for me. I have read a real variety of different books and a lot of my inspiration for the books I have read has come from social media. I know it may not be great to be led by social media, but it is a great platform for getting books out there, that you may not necessarily pick up. Part two of my wrap up is here, and as I have said before, I am very behind on my blog posts for full reviews, but I am slowly working my way through them.

Raising Readers by Megan Daley

Raising Readers: How to Nurture a Child's Love of Books

This lady knows her stuff about books and she is a great inspiration for promoting reading and books it is infections.

Some kids refuse to read, others won’t stop- not even at the dinner table! Either way, many parents question the best way to support their child’s literacy journey. When can you start reading to your child? How do you find that special book to inspire a reluctant reader? What can you do to keep tween reading into their adolescent years?

Raising Readers is published by University of Queensland Press and is available now.

My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

My Sister, the Serial Killer

When Korede’s dinner is interrupted one night by a distress call from her sister, Ayoola, she knows what’s expected of her; bleach, rubber gloves, nerves of steel and a strong stomach. This’ll be the third boyfriend Ayoola’s dispatched in “self-defence” and the third mess that her lethal little sibling has left Korede to clear away. She should probably go to the police for the good of the menfolk of Nigeria, but she loves her sister and, as they say, family always comes first. Until, that is. Ayoola starts dating a doctor at the hospital where Korede works as a nurse. Korede’s long been in love with him and isn’t prepared to see him wind up with a knife in his back; but to save one would mean sacrificing the other……

My Sister, The Serial Killer is published by Atlantic Books and is available now.

Remembered by Yvonne Battle-Felton

Remembered

It is the 1910 and Philadelphia is burning. The last place Spring wants to be is in the rundown, coloured section of a hospital surrounded by the groans of sick people and the ghost of her dead sister. But as her son Edward lies dying, she has no other choice.

There are whispers that Edward drove a streetcar into a shop window. Some people think it was an accident; others claim that it was his fault; the police are certain that he was part of a darker agenda. Is he guilty? Can they find the truth?

All Spring knows is that time is running out. She has to tell him the story of how he came to be. With the help of her dead sister, newspaper clippings and reconstructed memories, she must find a way to get through to him. To shatter the silences that governed her life, she will do everything she can to lead him home.

Remembered is published by Little Brown.

Wundersmith The Calling of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

Wundersmith : The Calling of Morrigan Crow Book 2

Crow has escaped her deadly curse and joined the Wunderous Society. It promises her protection, friendship and belonging for life – but then Morrigan doesn’t receive the welcome she hoped for……

Morrigan is a rare Wundersmith, but instead of the Society helping her to embrace her power, they seem to want her to suppress her mysterious ability at all costs.

To make things worse, the magical city of Nevermoor is quickly turning from a place of safety into one of danger. Society members are disappearing, someone is blackmailing Morrigan’s new friends, turning them against her – and Ezra Squall, the evilest man who ever lived, is determined to lure Morrigan from the Society by promising to teach her how to use the Wunder that calls to her, which is becoming ever harder to resist…..

Has Morrigan’s dream of escaping her cursed life ended before it truly began?

Wundersmith The calling of Morrigan Crow is published by Orion.

The Art of Not Falling Apart by Christina Patterson

The Art of Not Falling Apart

We plan, as the old proverb says, and God laughs. But must of us don’t find it all that funny when things go wrong. Most of us want love, a nice home, good work and happy children. Many of us grew up with parents who made these things look relatively easy and assumed we would get them, too. So what do you do if you don’t? What do you do when you feel you’ve messed it all up and your friends seem to be doing just fine?

For Christina Patterson, it was her job as a journalist that kept her going through the ups and downs of life. And then she lost that, too. Dreaming of revenge and irritated by self-help books, she decided to do the kind of interviews she had never done before. The resulting conversations are surprising, touching and often funny. There’s Ken, the first person to be publicly fired from a FTSE-100 board. There’s Winston, who fell through a ceiling onto a purple coffin. There’s Louise, whose baby was seriously ill, but who still worried about being fat. And through it all, there’s Christina, eating far too m any crisps as she tries to pick up the pieces of her life.

The Art of Not Falling Apart is published by Atlantic Books.

The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler

The Jane Austen Book Club

In California’s Sacramento Valley, six people meet once a month to discuss Jane Austen’s novels. They are ordinary people, neither happy nor unhappy, but all wounded in different ways, all mixed up about their lives and their relationships. Over the six months they meet, marriages are tested, affairs begin, unsuitable arrangements become suitable and under the guiding eye of Jane Austen, some of them even fall in love……

The Jane Austen Book Club is published by Penguin.

Bad Blood Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou

Bad Blood

The riveting true story of the breathtaking rise and shocking collapse of Theranos, the multibillion-dollar Silicon Valley biotech startup, by the prize-winning journalist who uncovered the biggest corporate fraud since Enron.

Bad Blood is published by Picador.

No Friends But The Mountains by Behrouz Boochani

No Friend but the Mountains

In 2013, Kurdish journalist Behrouz Boochani was illegally detained on Manus Island. He has been there ever since.

This book is the result. Laboriously tapped out on a mobile phone and translated from the Farsi. It is a voice of witness, an act of survival. A lyric first-hand account. A cry of resistance. A vivid portrait through five years of incarceration and exile.

No Friends But The Mountains is published by Picador.

April 2019 Wrap Up Part 1

I have been managing to get a lot of reading done in April, it is always helpful that there is a long weekend and my husband has been taking the children off my hands for a bit of time so I can get some well deserved quiet time. With also the children sleeping amazingly well, I usually have a full evening where I can read as much as I want to without any distractions or interruptions, which is perfect.

I have decided to split the wrap up in two blog posts as there are rather a large amount of books. Some I have already managed to complete a blog post, others I have not quite got around to it yet, but will do at some point.

The Editor by Steven Rowley

The Editor

As I said in my April newsletter, this book provoked quite a reaction on social media with a lot of people wanting to read or being their anticipated read. There is no blog post yet live about this book, but I have drafted some thoughts so hopefully in the forthcoming days I can complete this and post it live.

After years of struggling as a writer in 1990s New York City, James Smale finally gets his big break when his novel sells to an editor at a major publishing house; none other than Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Jackie, or Mrs. Onassis as she’s known in the office, loves James’s candidly autobiographical novel about his own dysfunctional family.

As Jackie and James develop an unexpected friendship, she pushes him to write an authentic ending, encouraging him to confront the truth about his relationship with his mother. But when a long-held family secret is revealed, he realises his editor may have had a larger plan that goes beyond the page….

The Editor is published by The Borough Press and is available now.

Weird Things Customers Say In Bookshops by Jen Campbell

Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops

As I have said before I adore anything Jen Campbell writes and this little book is full of such love for bookshops and made me laugh out loud.

A John Cleese Twitter question (‘What is your pet peeve?’), first sparked the Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops blog, which grew over three years into one bookseller’s collection of ridiculous conversations on the shop floor.

From ‘Did Beatrix Potter ever write a book about dinosaurs?’ to the hunt for a paperback which could forecast next year’s weather; and from ‘I’ve forgotten my glasses, please read me the first chapter’ to ‘Excuse me…..is this book edible?’ here is a book for heroic booksellers and booklovers alike.

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

The Silence of the Girls

I am currently reading the Women’s Prize Long-list which The Silence of the Girls is nominated for.

When her city falls to the Greeks, Briseis’s old life is shattered. She goes from queen to captive, from free woman to slave, awarded to the godlike warrior Achilles is a prize of battle. She’s not alone. On the same day, and on many others in the course of a long, bitter war, innumerable women have been wrested from their homes and flung to the fighters.

As told in The Iliad, the Trojan War was a quarrel between men. But what of the women in this story, silenced by their fates? What words did they speak when alone with each other, in the laundry, at the loom, when laying out the dead?

The Silence of the Girls is published by Penguin

The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean

The Orchid Thief

This was on my recommended page when I was ordering other books, and it sounded like my kind of read. I love reading about plants and flowers and the lengths people go to, to get the rarest of them. It is mind blowing.

A modern classic of personal journalism, The Orchid Thief is Susan Orlean’s wickedly funny, elegant, and captivating tale of an amazing obsession. Determined to clone an endangered flower – the rarest ghost orchid Polyrrhiza lindenii – a deeply eccentric and oddly attractive man named John Laroche leads Orlean on an unforgettable tour of American’s strangest flower-selling subculture, through Florida’s swamps and beyond, along with the Seminoles who help him and the forces of justice who fight him. In the end, Orlean – and the reader will have more respect for underdog determination and a powerful new definition of passion.

The Orchid Thief is available now

Out Of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper

Out of My Mind

This was another book on my recommended reading page when I was purchasing other books and immediately knew I had to have it.

Eleven-year-old Melody has a photographic memory. Her head is like a video camera that is always recording. Always. And there’s no delete button. She’s the smartest kid in her whole school – but NO ONE knows it. Most people – her teachers and doctors included – don’t think she’s capable of learning, and up until recently her school days consisted of listening to the same preschool-level alphabet lessons again and again and again. If only she could speak up, if only she could tell people what she thinks and knows….but she can’t, because Melody can’t talk. She can’t walk. She can’t write. Being stuck inside her head is making Melody go out of her mind- that is, until she discovers something that will allow her to speak for the first time ever. At last Melody has a voice…but not everyone around her is ready to hear it.

Out Of My Mind is published by Simon and Schuster and is available now.

My Life with Bob by Pamela Paul

My Life with Bob

This book I devoured within a day it is a perfect read if you like books about books and a full review is available on my blog now.

Pamela Paul has kept a single book by her side for twenty-eight years – carried throughout high school and college, hauled from Paris to London to Thailand moved from apartment to house to its current perch on a shelf over her desk. It is reliable if frayed, anonymous looking yet deeply personal. This book has a name: Bob.

Bob is Pamela Paul’s Book of Books, a journal that records every book she’s ever read, from Sweet Valley High to Anna Karenina, from Catch-22 to Swimming to Cambodia. It recounts a journey in reading that reflects her inner life- her fantasies and hopes, her mistakes and missteps, her dreams and her ideas, both half-baked and wholehearted. Her life, in turn, influences the books she chooses, whether for solace or escape, information or sheer entertainment.

But My Life with Bob isn’t really about those books. It’s about the deep and powerful relationship between book and reader. It’s about the way books provide each of us the perspective, courage, companionship, and imperfect self-knowledge for forge our own path. It’s about why we read what we read and how those choices make us who we are. It’s about how we make our own stories.

My Life with Bob is published by Henry Holt.

The Lido by Libby Page

The Lido

The Lido is another book I have not stopped thinking about or banging on about, quite frankly I am boring myself about how much I love this book.

A full review is available on my blog now.

Meet Rosemary, 86 and Kate 26: dreamers, campaigners, outdoor swimmers……

Rosemary has lived in Brixton all her life, but everything she knows is changing. Only the local lido, where she swims every day, remains a constant reminder of the past and her beloved husband George.

Kate has just moved and feels adrift in a city that is too big for her. She’s on the bottom rung of her career as a local journalist, and is determined to make something of it.

So when the lido is threatened with closure, Kate knows this story could be her chance to shine. But for Rosemary it could be the end of everything. Together they are determined to make a stand, to show the importance of friendship, the value of community, and how ordinary people can protect the things they love.

The Lido is published by Orion.

Eating by Nigella Lawson

Eating

I adore these mini reads they are perfect for your handbag and I have a tendency to read these whilst the children are doing their swimming lessons.

Nigella Lawson sets out a manifesto for how to cook (and eat) good food every day with a minimum of fuss. From basic roast chicken and pea risotto to white truffles and Turkish Delight figs, Nigella brings the joy back into the kitchen.

Eating is published by Vintage books.

April Wrap Up Part 2 will be available on the blog shortly.

April 2019 Book Haul

There are so many good books out there at the moment and so much choice. I thought I would show you some of my recent purchases.

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

Queenie

Sometimes I feel frantic. And I feel like everything has just spun out of control out of my hands? I don’t know. I feel a bit like for a while I have been carrying ten balls of wool. And one ball fell, so I dropped another to catch it, but still didn’t catch it. Then two more started to unravel and in trying to save those I lost another one. Do you know what I mean?

Meet Queenie Jenkins.

Journalist / Catastrophist / Expressive / Aggressive / Funny / Dramatic / Loved / Lonely / Enough

Queen is published by Trapeze and is available now.

Stone Mothers by Erin Kelly

Stone Mothers

Marianne was seventeen when she fled her home, her family, her boyfriend Jesse and the body they buried.

Now, forced to return she can feel the past closing around her. And Jessie, who never forgave her for leaving, is finally threatening to expose the truth.

Marianne will do anything to protect the life she’s built; the husband and daughter who must never know.

Even if it means turning to her worst enemy……

But Marianne may not know the whole story – and she isn’t the only one with secrets they’d kill to keep.
Stone Mothers is published by Hodder and Stoughton and is available now.

Diving Into Glass A Memoir by Caro Llewellyn

Diving into Glass

Caro Llewellyn was living her dream life in her adopted home of New York, directing an international literary festival. Then one day, running in Central Park, she lost all sensation in her legs. Two days later she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Caro was no stranger to tragedy. Her father Richard contracted polio at the age of twenty and spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair. Dignified, undaunted and ingenious, he was determined to make every day count, not least seducing his nurse while still confined to an iron lung, than marrying her.

But when Caro was herself blindsided by illness, cut loose from everything she depended on, she couldn’t summon any of the grace and courage she’d witnessed growing up. She was furious, toxic, humiliated. Only by looking back at her father’s extraordinary example was she able to rediscover her own grit and find a way forward, rebuilding her life shard by shard.

Diving Into Glass is published by Hamish Hamilton and is available now.

Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan

Machines Like Me

Britain has lost the Falklands war, Margaret Thatcher battles Tony Benn for power and Alan Turing achieves a breakthrough in artificial intelligence. In an world not quite like this one, two lovers will be tested beyond their understanding.

Machines Like Me takes place in an alternative 1980s London. Charlie, drifting through life and dodging full-time employment, is in love with Miranda, a bright student who lives with a terrible secret. When Charlie comes into money, he buys Adam, one of the first synthetic humans and – with Miranda’s help – he designs Adam’s personality. The near-perfect human that emerges is beautiful, strong and clever. It isn’t long before a love triangle forms, and these three beings confront a profound moral dilemma.

Machines Like Me is published by Penguin Random House and is available now.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

The Secret History

When Richard Papen joins an elite group of clever misfits at his New England college, it seems he can finally become the person he wants to be. But the moral boundaries he will cross with his new friends – and the deaths they are responsible for – will change all of their lives forever. The Secret History recounts the terrible price we pay for mistakes made on the dark journey to adulthood.

The Secret History is published by Penguin.

Now all I need to do is find sometime to sit and read these amazing books.