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August 2017 Book Overview 

This months overview has many, many different types of book choices. I hope you find one that may appeal to you. 

If you would like to feature in my September overview, please email me at thesecretworldofabookblogger@mail.com. 

Enjoy x

Significant Figures – Ian Stewart 

Lives and works of trailblazing mathematicians. 

Despite the seemingly mystical origins of its elements, mathematics doesn’t arise in a vaccum; it’s created by people. Some display striking originality and clarity of mind, those mathematicians we associate with great break throughs – the pioneers, the trailblazers, the significant figures. 

Here, Ian presents the lives and discoveries of twenty five of history’s greatest mathematicians from Arthimedes to William Thurston. Inspiring individuals from across the world, all have made crucial contributions to their field. They include giants such as Isaac Newton, with his laws of motions and gravity, and Muhammad al-Khwarizm, whose work gave us the algorithm and algebra. Underrated geniuses such as Emmy Noether and Srinavasa Ramanujan rub shoulders with the towering figures of Pierre de Fermat, Carl Friedrich Gauss, Bernhard Riemann, Henri Poincare, Ada Lovelace and Alan Turing. 

Ian Stewart takes us through their often colourful lives and methods of investigation, and gives clear explanations of their mathematical discoveries. These vivid accounts are fascinating in themselves and taken together, cohere into a riveting history of key steps in the development of mathematics. 

About Author 

Ian is a mathematics Professor Emeritus at the University of Warwick. His recent books include Incredible Numbers, Seventeen Equations that Changed the World, Professor Stewart’s Casebook of Mathematical Mysteries and Calculating the Cosmos. He is a fellow of the Royal Society and winner of the Michael Faraday Prize, the AAAS Public Understanding of Science and Technology Award, the London Mathematical Society’s Zeeman Medal and Rockefeller University’s Lewis Thomas Prize. 

Extract from Book 

pg248 

“Not an auspicious year, 1939 marked the start of World War II. Realising that war was likely, and knowing that modern warfare relied heavily on crytography – secret codes – the head of the Secret Ingelligence Service had bought a property suitable for use as a cipher school. Bletchley Park consisted of a mansion built in a strange mixture of architectual styles, standing in 235 hectares of grounds. The house had been scheduled for demolition, to build a housing estate. It still exists, along with it’s outbuildings, including some of the wartime huts, and Bletchley Park is now a tourist attraction.”

The Defiant Prince – Sally Newton 

It is AD25 and Caradoc, youngest son of the strongest King in Britain is, reluctantly, training to be a Druid. What he really wants is to be a warrior, like his father, brother and uncle. So when the girl he is besotted with is chosen to be sacrificed he is determined to save her, whether she likes it or not……

Blood-sacrifice, battles, youthful romance and the Gods all come together to create an enthralling journey through this stage of Caradoc’s life, in this, the first book in the Caracdoc trilogy. 

About Author 

Sally Newton grew up in the Catuvellauni heartlands of Hertfordshire. A life long love of all things ancient inspired her to study archaelogy and subsequently to write the Caradoc trilogy. 

Extract from Book 

pg121

We decided to camp on the lake shore that night. I caught us a fish to eat, and we lit as big a fire as we dared in a hollow where some earch had fallen away. Gwyfina re-bandaged my hands as well as she could with what little we had to hand, and we sat together by the fire a long while fashioning shapes from the stars and telling each other stories of childhood, and sharing our scars.” 

Jack The Ripper The Works of Francis Thompson – Richard Patterson 

Francis Thompson in 1888. He was an ex-medical student with a dissecting scalpel, and a history of mental illness and trouble with the police. He had just broken up with a prostitute and had written about cutting women’s stomachs open. 

At the same time, a few yards from his refuge, a woman was knifed, as part of a spate of prostitute murders, which one coroner said was by someone who had considerable anatomical skill and knowledge. 

Richard A. Patterson sets out a compelling case for English poet Francis Thompson as the prime suspect for Jack the Ripper in the must read for Ripperologists the world over. 

Extract from Book 

When the inquest into the death of the Ripper’s first victim, Mary Ann Nichols, begain on 3 September, it was held in the library of the Whitechapel Working Lads Institute. The building was an unlikely place to hold a murder inquest, but like its makeshift morgues, East Ender’s were again forced to compromise.”

Lilly Prospero And The Magic Rabbit – J J Barnes 

Lilly Prospero And The Magic Rabbit is the first book in The Lilly Prospero Series. 

Lilly Prospero is looking to find her place in a world she doesn’t fit into when she meets a magical talking rabbit who opens the door to a world filled with mystery, intrigue, adventure and danger. With a power she doesn’t understand growing ever stronger inside her, Lilly becomes absorbed in a world that threatens to take over her identity, and needs to learn to control her power in the face of life or death. 

About Author 

J J Barnes writes from her home in the Midlands, England where she lives with her family and assorted animals. She focuses her writing energy on fantasy fiction, feminism and parenting; her children providing a non stop stream of inspiration.

Extract from Book 

Jeffrey and Priscilla were less impressed with Lilly’s efforts, despite everyone in the house seeming remarkably attached to the llama. Pablo now had his own shed in the garden and was happily trotting around eating Lilly’s dad’s begonias whilst her mum cooed over him and took photographs of him posing in the sun. 

“I tried!” protested Lilly in response to their judgmental looks as they sat in the garden that afternoon whilst Lilly’s mum cooked dinner. “I did everything we said. I didn’t draw him, I was actively thinking I didn’t want to draw him, but he’s here!”

A Memoir of a Childhood – This Boy – Alan Johnson 

London’s Notting Hil in the 1950s was an unimaginably different place to the white stucco splendour it’s known for today. Alan Johnson’s family live in condemned housing, declared unfit for human habitation, in a cramped flat with no central heating, no electricity and no running water. His mother, Lily, battled against poor health, poverty, domestic violence and chronic loneliness to try and ensure a better life for her children. His sister, Linda, took on an adult’s burden of responsibility and fought to keep the family together when she was still only a child. 

No matter how harsh the detail, Alan writes with a spirit of generous acceptance, humour and openness which makes his book anything but a grum catalogue of misery in the end. This Boy is about success against all the odds, and paints a vivid portrait of a bygone era. 

About Author 

Alan was born in May 1950. He was General Secretary of the Communication Workers Union before entering Parliament as Labour MP for Hull West and Hessle in 1997. He served as Home secretary from June 2009 to May 2010. Before that, he filled a wide variety of cabinet positions in both the Blair and Brown Governments, including Health Secretary and Education Secretary until 20 January 2011, he was Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer. 

Extract from Book 

pg. 146 

“The worse houses to service were the overcrowded, multi-occupied ones with an open front door and no bells with which to summon the occupants. We’d have to go in together and take a floor each, banging on the two or three (or even four) doors behind which a family or a group of single West Indian men were squeezed in appalling conditions.” 

The Keeper of Lost Things – Ruth Hogan 

Anthony Peardew has spent half his life collecting lost objects, trying to atone for a promise broken many years before. 

Realising he is running out of time, he leaves his house and all it’s lost treasures to his assistant Laura, the one person he can trust to reunite the thousands of objects with their rightful owners.

But the final wishes of the ‘Keeper of Lost Things’ have unforeseen repercussions which trigger a most serendipitous series of encounters…..

About Author 

Ruth was born in the house where her parents still live in Bedford. Ruth worked for ten years in a senior local government position. However, in her early thirties she had a car accident which left her unable to work full time and convinced her to start writing seriously. Ruth worked part time as an osteopath’s receptionist and spent all her spare time writing. 

In 2012 Ruth was diagnosed with cancer. When chemo kept her awake all night she passed the time writing and the eventual result was The Keeper of Lost Things.

Extract from Book 

pg167

“The very thought of you. 

The song broke Laura’s sleep, although whether it was part of her deam or real music coming from the garden room downstairs she couldn’t be sure. She lay still and listening, snuggling in her duvet cocoon. Silence. Reluctantly she crept out into the cold, rose-scented air, threw on her dressing gown and went over to the window to the the winter morning in.

And saw a ghost.”

The Road to Rangoon – Lucy Cruickshanks 

From the heart of Burma’s exotic Rubyland comes and emotional thriller, as three lives are thrown together by the desperate choices they make to survive in a country gripped by civil war. 

When the British ambassador’s son finds himself trapped between sides fighting a bitter conflict, his best hope of salvation is to trust a local ruby smuggler. For her, the ambassador’s son is a ticket out of poverty. For Than, an ambitious military officer, exploiting those caught up in the war offers opportunity for promotion and distinction. 

But as all three learn to their cost, in this enigmatic and savage country, everyone has a price. 

About Author 

Lucy’s love of travel inspires her writing. A great fan of the underdog, she’s drawn to countries with troubled recent histories, writing about periods of time when societies are at their most precarious and fraught with risk. She’s fasinated by their uniqueness and moral ambiguity, and in capturing the people who must navigate them. 

Lucy was born in 1984 and raised in Cornwall. She holds a BA in Politics and Philosophy from the University of Warwick and an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University. She lives on the south coast of England and divides her time between writing and caring for her young family. 

Extract from Book 

pg123

“The throb of blood in Than’s head hastened. Hadd the outburst at Min just been to throw him? Had the arrow he’d fired flown straight all along? His head was spinning. By the spirits, he hadn’t expected this as quick! Oh, the general was a riddle to fathom, but if nothing else it showed how close he had been all along. It was true, time and again, Than had seen long term officers finally getting their promotions when their sons were signed up. Perhaps Bo Win would make a captain and he’d get his own office somewhere on the street. Or perhaps he’d skip ahead and go straight to major. It wasn’t unheard of in exceptional cases. He edged himself into the chair and bit on his cheeks to stifle his grin.” 

Mend The Living – Maylis de Kerangal 

A twenty four hour whirlwind of death and life. 

In the depths of a winter’s night, the heart of Simon Limbeau is resting, readying itself for the day to come. In a few hours’ time, just before six, his alarm will go off and he will venture into the freezing dawn, drive down to the beach, and go surfing with his friends. A trip he has made a hundred times and yet, today, the heart of Simon Limbeau will encounter a very different course. 

But for now, the black box of his body is free to leap, swell, melt and sink, just as it has throughout the years of Simon’s young life. 

5.50am 

This is his heart. 

And here is its story. 

About Author 

Maylis is the author of several novels and short stories. Naissance d’un pont, translated here as Birth of a Bridge, won both the Prix Franz Hessel and Prix Medicis in 2010. Her fifth novel, Reparer les vivants was published in 2014 and won the Grand Prix RTL – Lire and the student Choice Novel of the Year from France Culture and Telerama. She lives in Paris. 

Extract from Book 

The intensive care unit takes up the whole east wing of the main floor. Access is restricted, signs saying Hospital Personnel Only are posted on doors, so Marianne waits in the corridor, ends up leaning against the wall and letting herself slide down to a crouch, head moving right an left without lifting from the wall, she taps her head against it, digs in gently with her occiput, face lifted towards the fluorescent tubes that run along the ceiling, lids closed, she listens, always these busy voices that jibe or update each other from one end of the corridor to the other, these feet in rubber soles, gymnastic shoes, or ordinary sneakers, these metallic jinglings, these ringing alarms, these rolling stretchers, the continuous rustle of the place. ” 

August 2017 Book Haul 

August has been a great month for books. There were so many books that I could have bought – I have been very restraint this month. 

His Bloody Project – Graeme Macrae Burnet 

The year is 1869. A brutal triple murder in a remote community in the Scottish Highlands lead to the arrest of a young man by the name of Roderick Macrae. 

A memoir written by the accused make it clear that he is guilty, but it falls to the country’s finest legal and psychiatric minds to uncover what drove him to commit such merciless acts of violence. 

Was he mad? Only the persuasive power of his advocate stand between Macrae and the gallows. 

Graeme Macrae Burnet tells an irresistable and original story about the provisional nature of truth, even when the facts seem clear. His Bloody Project is a mesmerising literary thriller set in an unforgiving landscape where the exercise of power is arbitrary. 

This book is available here.

This book I have noticed has started to do the rounds on social media and I am so excited to read it. 

Sapiens A Brief History of Humankind – Yuval Noah Harari 

100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. 

Us.

Homo sapiens.

How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance?

Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? 

How did we come to believe in gods, nations and human rights?

And what will our world be like in the millennia to come?

Bold, wide-ranging and provocative, Sapiens challenges everything we thought we knew about being human: our thoughts, our actions, our power…..and our future.

This book is available here.

At the moment, I am looking at the YA books currently available and books that potentially my children will like in the future or if I can read to them when they are a bit older. I thought Philip Pullman would be a great place to start as he is a legend! So, I purchased two of his books. 

Northern Lights – Philip Pullman 

Lyra and her animal daemon live half-wild and carefree among the scholars of Jordan College, Oxford. But the destiny that has awaited her since birth takes her on a dangerous journey to the frozen North in search of a kidnapped friend. It is a journey that will have immeasurable consequences far beyond her own world…….

This book is available here.

The Amber Spyglass – Philip Pullman

Will and Lyra, whose fates are bound together by powers beyond their own worlds, have been violently separated. But they must find each other, for ahead of them lies the greatest war that has ever been – and a journey to a darker place from which no one has ever returned….. 

This book is available here.


I follow Ken on Twitter and Instagram and I am a little bit obsessed by him, so I just had to purchase his book. 

The Pillars of the Earth – Ken Follett

The Pillars of the Earth tells the story of Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, a devout and resourceful monk driven to build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has known…..of Tom, the mason who becomes his architect, a man divided in his soul…..of the beautiful, elusive Lady Aliena, haunted by a secret shame…..and of a struggle between good and evil that will turn church against state, and brother against brother. 

A spellbinding, epic tale of ambition, anarchy and absolute power, set against the sprawling medieval canvas of twelfth-century, England. 

This book is available here.

I know again I am late in reading this book. However, I have been saving the TV series as I wanted to read the book before watching the series. I am just so slow what can I say. 

The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood 

The Republic of Gilead offers Offred only one function: to breed. If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire – neither Offred’s nor that of the two men on which her future hangs. 

This book is available here.

I know I am slow on the uptake with reading this book and yes, I know it’s written by JK. But, recently, I have noticed this book is being made into a TV drama which is on my must watch list. 

The Cuckoo’s Calling A Strike Novel – Robert Galbraith 

When a troubled model falls to her death from a Mayfair Balcony, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. However, her brother has his doubts and calls in private detective Cormoran Strike to investigate. 

Strike is a war veteran – wounded both physically and psychologically – and his private life is in disarray. The case gives him a financial lifeline but it comes at a personal cost: the more he delves into the young model’s world, the darker things get and the closer he gets to terrible danger…… 

This book is available here.

I love books that are based around the war and seemed to be drawn to them. So, of course I had to purchase this book. 

The Zookeeper’s Wife – Diane Ackerman

When Germany invades Poland, Luftwaffe bombers devastate Warsaw and the city’s zoo along with it. With most of their animals killed, or stolen away to Berlin, zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski begin smuggling Jews into the empty cages. 

As the war escalates Jan becomes increasingly involved in the anti-Nazi resistance. Ammunition is buried in the elephant enclosure and explosives stored in the animal hospital. Plans are prepared for what will become the Warsaw uprising. Through the ever-present fear of discovery, Antonina must keep her unusual household afloat, caring for both its human and animal inhabitants – otters, a badger, hyena pups, lynxes – as Europe crumbles around them. 

Written with the narrative drive and emotional punch of a novel, The Zookeeper’s Wife is a remarkable true story. It shows us the human and personal impact of war – of life in the Warsaw Ghetto, of fighting in the anti-Nazi resistance. But more than anything it is a story of decency and sacrifice triumphing over terror and oppression. Jan and Antonina saved over 300 people from the death camps of the Holocaust. 

This book is available here.

I recently saw an interview with Victoria on BBC Meet The Author and was immediately drawn into purchasing this book. Victoria discussed the lengths she went into researching this book just immediately made me buy the book. Ok, I will just use any excuse. 

Cartes Postales From Greece – Victoria Hislop 

Week after week, the postcards arrive, addressed to someone Ellie does not know, each signed with an initial: A. 

These alluring cartes postales of Greece brighten her life and cast a spell on her. She decides she must see this country for herself. 

On the morning Ellie leaves for Athens, a notebook arrives. Its pages tell the story of a man’s odyssey through Greece. Moving, surprising and sometimes dark, A’s tale unfolds with the discovery not only of a culture, but also of a desire to live life to the full once more. 

This book is available here.

 

The Girls of Mulberry Lane – Rosie Clarke 

About Author 

Rosie is happily married and lives in a quiet village in East Anglia. Writing books is a passion for Rosie, she also likes to read, watch good films and enjoys holidays in the sunshine. She loves shoes and adores animals, especially squirrels and dogs. 

Information on Book 

1938 Mulberry Lane, London. War is looming, but on Mulberry Lane there are different battles being fought. 

Maureen Jackson is a prisoner of her father’s blackmail. Three years ago, she’d been hoping to marry Rory, the man of her dreams. However, after her mother’s death Maureen was left to care and work for the overbearing father who claimed he couldn’t manage without her. Now Rory is back in London with a pregnant wife in tow and reminds Maureen of the life that should have been hers. 

Janet Ashley is the daughter of Peggy and Laurence, landlords of the local pub, The Dog and Pheasant on Mulberry Lane. With the war looming, Janet hopes to marry her sweetheart Mike, but her father refuses to grant them his blessing. Going against his wishes, Janet finds herself pregnant and Peggy is determined to hold her family together at all costs. 

The Girls of Mulberry Lane is the first in a series set in London’s east end during WW2. 

Extracts from Book 

It was Christmas 1938 and soon they would be into a New Year. Peggy hoped it would be as good as or better than the last one. Rumours of unrest and German activity in the arms race had unsettled her for much of this year. Surely there couldn’t be another war just around the corner?”

“All this posturing and the threats the Prime Minister was issuing to Germany seemed to make the war a matter of time rather than something that might never happen. It was clear the government was preparing for it when they urged farmers to plough up pasture land to grow more crops, because the threat to British shopping was unthinkable.”

My Views 

What a beautiful story told during a frightening and fractious time in history. You have some residents within Mulberry Lane who remembered what it was like during the first war and feared another war. Others feared being sent away from their families and remain traumatised still of life in the trenches. You can feel the pain of the men and their wifes. You can almost feel the women planning on how they would manage without their husbands and sons and somewhere in the back of the minds the fear of them never returning. Some of the residents are pretending that war would not be happening and matters would simply blow over, whilst others know what the end reality would be. 

Whilst this is going on, residents  are getting on with their lives. Maureen remains heartbroken with not being able to marry her true love and being torn between her father and her heart. Her father is an incredibly selfish character, but very real and you could imagine this happening in real life, even to this day. 

Other characters within the story are trying to keep hold of their love but you know war will only get in the way. 

Like I said before, this is a beautifully written book. You go on the ride of the trials and tribulations of the people from Mulberry Lane and live with the fear of imminent war. Rosie has done a great job of bringing a story alive. I cannot wait until the next book which I will be keeping my eyes pealed for. 

Other Information 

Price 2.99 (kindle edition)

The Girls of Mulberry Lane is available here.

Rosie Clarke’s website is available here.

Many Thanks to Rosie and Aria Publication 


Crazy Stupid Love – Cassie Rocca 

About Author 

Cassie is of Sicilian origin who has lived in Genoa since the age of three. In her everyday life, she is a childminder, a job which gives her plenty of ideas for her modern fairy tales. 

Information on Book 

Are there written rules on how to find a sole mate?

Or, is it better to trust the hands of fate?

After ending a string of dead-end relationships, Zoe Mathison has made a decision – to find a man who truly appreciates her. But this is turning out to be more complicated than she expected. Fed up of being surrounded by insufferably happy couples in love, her mission to find the perfect man starts to become an obsession. 

Eric Morgan is pushed to his limits. Hopelessly in love with Zoe who sees him as nothing more than a best friend to lean on, he can’t bear seeing his hopes of romance crushed everytime the sculpted pecs of a younger man comes along. But when a new girl appears on the scene, he is determined to prove that he can push his infatuation aside and move on. But is it as easy as it seems?

Extracts from Book 

He felt as if he had been staring at his phone for the whole day. He had actually managed to sleep, but not for long enough and not well. At some point during the day, he had even eaten while watching the TV, but he couldn’t remember what, or even what he had been watching. His mind was focused on only one thought; he had kissed Zoe.” 

“Zoe deserved all the love in the world and a partner who could make her forget about her doubts and uncertainties. A man who could give her all the attention she needed. And instead she surrounded herself with testosterone heaed caveman who were able only to keep her happy in the sack and then show her off like a trophy to their friends.” 

My Views 

I am now going to be taking a couple of weeks off from reading women fiction – I think I have overdosed and now I feel that my views may be tainted because I have read so much and now can predict story lines and don’t have the same excitement or want to read them. 

Zoe and Eric are friends and Eric is completely infatuated with Zoe but will not tell her and leave it bottled up. You follow their path through life and the twist and turns in their lives and their love life and whether they would ever get together. I got incredibly frustrated with both Zoe and Eric and was shouting “just get on with it and get together”. I did finish this book, however, the story was very predictable and I feel that I have read books like this many times over. I just think I am a bit grumpy about womens fiction at the moment. I will be going back to read this book once I have had time off as I will probably see the book in a different light. 

I do think this is an ideal book for holidays when your relaxing on a deck chair enjoying the sunshine with a nice drink in hand. 

Other Information 

The book is available here.

 
Many thanks to Cassie Rocca and Aria Publication 

A Christmas Wish – Erin Green 

About Author 

Since childhood, books have been Erin’s greatest love. She writes contemporary romance and rom coms drawing together a healthy mixture of love and romance admist the realities of life. 

Information on Book 

A festive love story, just right for snuggling down with a long winter’s evening. 

Flora Phillips has an excuse for every disaster in her life; she was abandoned as a newborn on a doorstep one cold autumn night, wrapped in nothing but a towel. Her philosphy is simple; if your mother doesn’t want you – who will?

Now a thirty year old, without a boyfriend, a career or home she figures she might as well tackle the biggest question of them all – who is she? So, whilst everyone else enjoys their Christmas Eve traditions, Flora escapes the masses and drives to the village of Pooley to seek a specific doorstep. Her doorstep. 

But in Pooley she finds more than her life story. She finds friends, laughter, and perhaps even a love to last a lifetime. Because once you know where you come from, it’s so much easier to know where you’re going. 

Extract from Book 

“I need her to feel sorry for me my flickering light of hope seems to be fading behind my sea green eyes. I just want a chance. Nothing grand. Nothing but the opportunity to prove to myself that I can do something. Anything other than mess it up and run away from a bad situation.”

“Opening the box file reveals several brown folders each of them dog-eared and stained. I spread out the contents; lots of written statements, a pencilled map, a yellowed bus ticket in an evidence bag and a tiny silver ring of a twisted rope design between two plain hoops, squashed like a deformed Hula Hoop. I hold the evidence bag and peer at the ring.” 

My Views 

I have never read a story like this before. I, of course, had read stories like this in the news but never in fiction. Erin did a great job of bringing a serious story line into a romantic novel without insulting people who may have the back story of being abandoned by their family. You could see the respect and compassion Erin had towards Flora and the great love and will of ensuring the story was written in a way that does not belittle what happened and to stress to people the importance of not being quick to judge and finding out the full picture before coming to any decisions. 

I especially loved Scotty, I can’t really say to much but Erin expanded on the impact of this story had on others and people you least expect. But, you need to read the book to know more of what I am talking about. 

I lived in a village for many years, and laughed at how people knew one anothers business and the difficulties in being accepted into village life is a great reflection on real life village life as I have experienced this myself. Erin really did her homework on this. 

What a great debut novel for Erin and she will be one to keep an eye on in the future!

Other Information 

Price 2.99 (kindle edition)

Erin’s website is available here.

A copy of Erin’s book is available here.

Many Thanks to Erin Green and Aria Publishers

It Was Always You – Georgie Capron 

About Author 

When Georgie started writing she was a full time primary school teacher. She wrote whenever possible in her free time and holidays. When Georgie is not writing or bouncing a baby she can be found reading, cooking, jogging, yoga or plotting trips abroad. 

Information on Book 

Libby has been drifting through life for too long and now in her early 30s, it’s time to grow up. She decides to have one last summer of fun before buckling down, so heads off to beautiful Positano in Italy. 

There, despite all her good intentions, she can’t help but fall in love with the very handsome, but rather naughty Luca and as the summer draws to a close, Libby has some big decisions to make. 

Should she head back home and face up to her responsibilities? Is Luca really the right man to start a family with, or has the perfect man been right in front of her eyes all this time?

Extract from Book 

“She stayed on the bathroom floor for about forty five minutes, feeling faint with panic and anxiety. Eventually coming to her senses, she stumbled back to her room and slammed the door. Her heart was pounding loudly in her ears. She felt as though all the blood had drained from her head to her feet, making her feel faint and dizzy. She lay on her bed and took a deep breath. Her eyes filled with tears.”

My Views 

I think nowadays, there are plenty of Libby’s out there. Who get to the stage where they are in their late 20s early 30s and in a dilemma. Are they happy with their job or should they look for something else? is it time to settle down to get married? do you feel ready to have children? I certainly had a Libby moment and I didn’t get married until my late 20s and have children until my early 30s.

I did enjoy the book, but at the moment there are alot of brilliant summer reads with similar plot lines and similar characters – I think I am on summer read burn out and have taken to reading different things so when I go back to them, it will be with a fresh set of eyes. I did find the story a little predictable, however, I was gripped still as I wanted to know how it ended, which again, I guessed early on – so, it could not have been a bad thing and completed the book in an afternoon. 

I will be looking out for the next book Georgie writes, she will continue to be on my radar!

Other Information 

You can check out Georgie’s website here.

Price 2.99 you can pick up a copy here.

A big thank you to Georgie and the team at Aria Publishers  

July 2017 Eight Book Overview 

I have been attempting to complete a daily overview for books on my blog. However, due to having two very small humans who have been ill and them kindly passing their bug on to me it just has not worked out – which I am disappointed. So, I have made the decision, that until my little ones get a little bit bigger I will complete an eight book overview each month which is much more manageable for me at this present time. 

If you would like your book to appear in my August 2017 book overview, please do email me at 

thesecretworldofabookblogger@mail.com 

for this post I will only accept hard copies of books at present but in the future this will change. 

So, here goes these are the books I have picked for my July overview. 

The Floating Theatre

When young seamstress May Bedloe is left alone and penniless on the shore of the Ohio River, she finds work on the famous floating theatre that plies its trade along its banks. Her creativity and needlework skills quickly become invaluable and she settles in to life among the colourful troupe of actors, she finds friends, and possibly the promise of more…….

About Author 

Martha’s first novel, 12 Bliss Street was nominated for an Edgar Award. Born in Cleveland, Ohio she is one of seven sisters. She now lives in San Francisco with her family. 

Extract from Book

pg258

“When I felt the boat start to move, I dressed and went out to the guard. The air was strangely warm for daybreak, and I watched the mist coming off the water and creeping up the side of the boat. There was no sign of Liddy, and Dr Early was staying at an inn in town. He planned to follow us to our next landing on horseback. 

The run this morning was fast and difficult. Almost immediately upon leaving the bank we came to a bad stretch of the river with lots of sandbars and sudden, low water. Jeremy and Sam had their work cut out for them, pushing the sweeps hard as they tried to keep in the current. I stayed on the top deck out of everyone’s way.”

Weave a Murderous Web – Anne Rothman-Hicks & Ken Hicks 

No good deed goes unpunished. When Jane Larson – a hot shot litigator for a large firm in New York City – helps out a friend, she is sucked into the unfamiliar world of divorce and child support. 

About Authors 

Anne and Ken have been married for a little over forty years and have produced about twenty books and three children. 

Extract from Book 

pg126 

“Cops and media people think they know more about the law than the average man on the street, so there was a bit of loud confusion for a while as Bernie argued with Carmen over who had the right to be in the apartment. The discussion soon deteriorated to cover other topics such as why the feminist movement had died, what exactly might be meant by the term fascist pig and how it was that criminals had come to control the entire city. I’m sure the nuances were interesting, but my mind wasn’t up to the challenge.”

Ghachar Ghochar – Vivek Shanbhag 

A close-knit family is delivered from near-destitution a sudden wealth after the narrator’s uncle founds a successful spice company. As the narrator – a sensitive young man who is never named along with his sister, his parents and his uncle move from a cramped, ant-infested shack to a larger house and encounter new-found wealth, the family dynamics begin to shift. Allegiances and desires realign; marriages are arranged and begin to falter; and conflict brews ominously in the background 

Their world becomes ‘ghachar ghochar’ – a nonsense phrase that, to the narrator, comes to mean something entangled beyond repair. 

About Author

Vivek is the author of eight works of fiction and two plays, all of which have been published to wide acclaim in the south indian language, Kannada. 

Extract from Book 

pg37

“Chikkappa may have had the business worked out, but he had no capital. “it’s hard to get a bank loan unless you invest some of your own money”, he said and went to wash his hands. Appa made his decision in the half minute it took Chikkappa to return. Appa told him “my retirement benefits will amount to around one hundred thousand rupees. It’s yours to invest and find then the banks will give you a loan. Start the business as soon as you can.” That was all the encouragement Chikkappa needed. He had been in need of a spark to light the fire, and here he’d been handed a torch.” 

Some Kind of Synchrony – Ann Foweraker 

Faith Warren, married mother of two, is a secretary in a newspaper office. It wasn’t what she’d hoped for, but her dreams of university and becoming an author were lost long ago. Telling stories to entertain her lifelong friend, Di, on their journey to work and back is all that is left…..until she tells The Story. 

About Author 

Ann writes novels that resonate with readers of the boomer generation – being one herself- and setting her main characters at a similar age over the years. 

Ann has always written, from stories for friends as a teeneger, through books for her children and short stories to the poetry and novels that she concentrates on now. 

Extract from Book 

pg187

“Lunch time found her out of the office as soon as was possible, the silky scarf caressing her nect beneath her old sheepskin coat. She reached his door and, feeling suspicious glanced each way for people she knew, before tapping in the number he had given her. The door swung open and to her delight he was coming down the stairs, two at a time, to meet her. 

Her heart performed peculiar acrobatics in the moment it took for him to reach her, the street door closed, his arms closed around her to hold her, then he kissed her.”

Summer at Hope Meadows – Lucy Daniels 

Newly qualified vet Mandy Hope is leaving Leeds – and her fiance Simon – to return to the Yorkshire village where she grew up. Mandy’s life has always revolved around her work with rescued animals, and helping out in her parents’ surgery means working with creatures of all shapes and sizes. 

But it’s not all plain sailing; Mandy clashes with Jimmy Marsh, owner of the local outward bound centre, and some of the villagers won’t accept a new vet. Meanwhile, Simon is determined that Mandy will rejoin him back in the city. 

About Author 

Lucy is the collective name for the writing team that created the bestselling children’s book series Animal Ark. Hope Meadows is a brand new Lucy Daniels series for adult readers, featuring the characters and locations that were so beloved in the original stories. 

Summer at Hope Meadows has been written by a new author, Sarah McGurk, who has the twin advantages of being passionate about Animal Ark and a fully qualified vet. In her spare time, Sarah likes to cook and bake she also enjoys walking and loves taking photographs of the countryside near where she lives. 

Extract from Book 

pg208 

“All the cows were emaciated like the old shire. One of them had an infection in one of her teats. It was hugely swollen and there was a grim looking area on her udder that looked as if it might slough away at any moment. Another had overgrown feet and a third had a wound on her shoulder. Mandy looked longingly at her car, wandering if she could drive away and leave someone else to deal with all this. But right now, she was all these animals had. Their only Hope literally. And they were outside, no longer walking knee deep in their own faeces of breathing the rank air in the shed.” 

Troublesome Wood – Ardal Jones 

Seeing is believing. So they say. 

But in a world of digital manipulation and speical effects, can we really believe our eyes? With words twisted by advertisers to mean their opposite, are we wise to believe what we are told? And when those raised up to govern us lie and cheat to gain our trust – the traditional robes of authority reduced to dress – up in whom should we put our faith?

When Gavin Fisher and new girl in school Symphony Beaumont begin asking difficult questions, the first thing they learn; nobody knows anything. And the discovery of the missing history of Lore Veracious leads them up a path, not of enlightment, but to greater confusion and mayhem; the discovery of Troublesome Wood revealing it holds as many secrets as answers, and like our world is changing faster than its inhabitants can keep up. 

Extract from Book 

pg 107 

“The blood has stoppe rushing to Gavin’s head – it was full. He felt like he’d been upside down for an eternity. Another six minutes ticked by and he felt his feet going numb, or rather he didn’t. A vein on his forehead began to throb like a fire hose. Time seemed to stop, and he thought he’d passed out. Pride stopped him shouting for help from Miss Tennfold – still slumped at the back of the coach. For a moment he forgot his own sorry plight wondering if his teacher was concussed; being unconscious this long couldn’t be good. Then, despite it being numb, he felt something touch his leg. He opened his mouth to scream, but nothing came out.” 

The Little Paris Bookshop – Nina George 

On a beautifully restored barge on the Seine, Jean Perdu runs a bookshop; or rather a ‘literary apothecary’ for this bookseller possesses a rare gift for sensing which books will soothe the troubled souls of his customers. 

The only person he is unable to cure, it seems, is himself. 

But when an enigmatic new neighbour moves into his eccentric apartmnt building on Rue Montagnard, Jean is inspired to unlock his heart, unmoor the floating bookshop and set off for Provence in search of the past and his beloved. 

About Author 

Born in 1973, Nina George is a journalist and the author of numerous bestselling novels, which have been translated into several languages. Nina is married to writer Jens J Kramer and lives in Hamburg and Brittany. 

Extract from Book 

pg231

“The Rhone is a nightmare, to put it mildly,” said Max and pointed to the nuclear power station. It was the seventeenth one they’d passed since the point where the Saone meets the Rhone near Lyons. Fast breeders reactors alternated with vineyards and motorways. Cured had given up on fishing. 

They had wandered around cuisery and its literary catacombs for a further three days. Now they were approaching Provence; they recognised the chalky hills near Orange that reared up like the gateway to Southern France.”

Murder In Little Shendon – A.H Richardson 

Nobody in Little Shendon particularly liked Mr Fynche. Therefore, when he is murdered in a rather gruesome manner, the suspect list grows quite long- and includes everyone from his housekeeper to Lady Armstrong and her household staff, they shy librarian, a fiesty major, the charming post mistress, owners of the town pub, even the vicar and the pair of American tourists. To aid the investigation Inspector Stanley Burgess calls on his old friend, Sir Victor Hazlitt, and an new friend, the noted Shakespearean actor, Beresford Brandon. The three sift methodically through the alibis and life stories of the suspects until they uncover……. 

About Author 

A. H Richardson grew up as a British artist, painter, musician, acress and dressage trainer. When she moved to the U.S she chose the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee, where she lives near her three sons and grandchildren. It is there she writes. 

Extract from Book 

pg140

“Some mumbling followed that Berry couldn’t understand concealed in his hiding place. Eventually he heard them leave, and he stealthily crept to his room. He sat down on the bed, got out his notepad, and made some notes. He stretched out on his bed with his hands behind his head to think. All in all, it had been a pretty interesting afternoon. It occurred to Beresford that sixty thousand pounds was a pretty penny, and certainly people had been knocked off for far less than that. He decided to get in touch with Victor and Stanley as soon as possible so that the three of them could compare notes.”