Well. Last week was another big news week then. Blimey. Anyway, I had some time off work, so I got a lot of reading done as you can see. I was aiming to get the still reading list all read, but as you can see I didn’t quite manage it. Maybe this week?! Anyway, it’s also nearly the end of the month, and with it the end of the first half of the year, so as well as starting a new journal I have some halfway point posts planned – so look out for those over the next week and a bit along with all the usual end of month goodies.
Yeah, so I had a little slip up. One actual book bought – but a whole load of e-books, including the Adele Buck you see on the list and its sequel. There was a whole bunch of stuff on offer and I did a bit of a spree on sample reading to see if I liked them, and I liked all of them. Whoopsie. Sorry, not sorry.
Bonus photo: this month’s peonies, after my best attempt to arrange them. Flower arranging is not my forte. But they do lookbeautiful and survived being delivered to behind my hedge on really quite a hot day.
An * next to a book title indicates that it came from NetGalley. ** indicates it was an advance copy from a source other than NetGalley
Now you’ve seen a couple of these on the lists already. Bloodlust and Bonnets was a BotW and came on the same trip to the comic bookshop as Miss Butterworth and the Mad Baron and Heartstopper part 1. Inverts is from That Trip To Foyles and The Setup is the book launch I went to the other week. Then we have another Persephone pick, the next library lover mystery because I read the one I ordered last month and my nice signed preorder of the Reverend Richard Coles murder mystery. Not a bad haul in all really!
Well, what a crazy busy week. I had two nights in London – which included my trip to Ben de la Creme – and then a book launch on Thursday night for Lizzy Dent’s The Set Up. Then we went out for dinner on Friday, we had a busy weekend with my sister and her partner visiting from Carlisle and lunch out and a car show with them and my dad on Sunday. And all the usual work stuff too. Is it any wonder the list is shorter than usual?!
One of my frequent refrains over the last two years has been that I don’t know if various books I’ve been recommending will be easy to find in bookshops or not, so being in the vicinity of Foyles earlier this week I thought I would take the opportunity to see what was around and available and write about it!
Let’s start with the pride themed window display, which is actually the last photo I took – after they chucked me out at closing time! Bad Gays getting plenty of promotion – it’s got a table inside too, and if it hadn’t been a hardback I would have probably bought it, the blurb was intriguing. But I had already decided that I only had space in my suitcase for a paperback at most, so it will have to wait.
I was delighted to find Martha Wainwright’s memoir so nice and prominent – and signed. If I’d known it was going to crop up signed, I might have waited to buy it, I’ve only ever seen her playing small venues – audiences in the low hundreds – so I had no sense of how well it was going to do or how easy it would be to get hold of so I preordered it because preorders are important. And to be fair, she signed my ticket at when I saw her live, so it’s not like I don’t have an autograph already and if I really want the book signed I can take it with me when I see her live in the summer and see what happens!
And I was also delighted to see A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting, because that was another one where I couldn’t tell ahead of time whether it would get a push here. And in years gone by it probably wouldn’t have, but Bridgerton has made such a difference to Historical Romance sales in the UK. I saw my first Julia Quinn as one book in a much bigger Waterstones window display back in my Southend days more than a decade ago, and I’m so used to needing to order them in – initially in US editions, and then preordering the UK editions because they were never in shops if you went in on the off chance – that it’s still a surprise and delight to see them front facing in the main section of the store. And Lady’s Guide… also has a different style of cover to the half headless lady clutching an entirely headless gentleman and it’s variants that we’re getting on so much at the moment because that’s what the latest editions of the Bridgerton series have…
And this was the other non fiction hardback that seriously tempted me. As you can’t help but know at this point, I’ve read a lot of history books about the interwar period and Nancy Cunard is in so many of them. But I have an Anne de Courcy paperback still waiting to be read on the shelf, so I will try and be good and wait until the paperback comes out (because they get read sooner anyway) or maybe I’ll put it on the prospective Christmas book list!
And finally, I loved this display for the colours and the range of authors in it. I haven’t read any of Anthony Horowitz’s James Bond novels, but I have read several of his own series – and reviewed them too (Moonflower Murders for example). I’ve got a signed copy of the Richard Coles ordered from Big Green Books or I would have been tempted by that one too. I’ve read some Emma Straub before, but this one is sort of time travel or sliding doors-y if that makes sense, and I don’t usually do well with do-your-life-over books so I’ll wait and see on this one. The covers on the other two were just so pretty I had to pick them up and see what they are. The House with the Golden Door is the second in a planned trilogy about Pompeii so that was relatively easy for me to resist – I have a poor record on books set before 1300 let alone in the first century and when you know a volcano eruption is coming! But The Second Sight of Zachary Cloudesley sounds like interesting eighteenth century magical realism with an unusual setting, so it has gone on The List.
And what did I end up buying? Well I did think about keeping you in suspense until books incoming, but I’m not that mean.
I loved the cover design, and the blurb sounded right up my street – a 1920s setting and a plot around a lavender marriage so the main characters can do what they want. I hadn’t heard of it before I saw it in the display so I have no idea what I’m letting myself in for or what the reviews say. I read the first few pages in the shop but that was it because it was suddenly five minutes to closing time and I had to run to the till to pay!
Well that was quite a weekend. The Platinum Jubilee was quite a spectacle – and the weather in my part of the world was quite a ride! I had a good week in reading too – even if the rain showers meant I still haven’t got the hammock out. But that will come. Another week with a lot of authors I’ve read before in the list, but I’ve started some new to me authors too – including a few books from last month’s Books Incoming post.
Favourite book this month: hard to chose this month – because there were a bunch of 5 star books – but I’m going to go with The Young Pretenders.
Most read author: Elizabeth Peters – 5 Vicky Bliss novels on the reread and an Amelia Peabody audiobook!
Books bought: 3 books at the work book sale, 1 book ordered online, 1 pre-order, 1 ebook. Considering the number of books in the Books Incoming post a few weeks back, this surprised me. But when I checked, it was right – three from the book sale, three pre-orders that already got counted in previous months, the Young Pretenders which arrived April after the Books Incoming post (and was a Persephone subscription book anyway so not bought by me) and the Bonnie Garmus which I ordered in April but arrived in May. So that really does just leave the Jenn McKinlay Book Lovers mystery!
Books read in 2022: 166
Books on the Goodreads to-read shelf (I don’t have copies of all of these!): 660 – this number never really goes down, but it has gone up by a lot this month because there’s been a bunch of series with new books announced or where I hadn’t added the unread ones to the list, but I also updated it to add some stuff from the to read shelf that wasn’t on there and my new acquisitions…
I’ve been more than usually chatty in this post already, but it really was a good month of reading in May. I read a lot of new releases, and I think I have less books in the NetGalley backlog than I did at the start of the month, even if I didn’t read all the May releases. I’ve managed to be restrained with my requesting for June, so if I can control my virulent re-reading urges, I should be able to reduce the list further in June. Speaking of re-reading, I’ve really enjoyed revisiting the Vicky Bliss books – I think you can expect a Series I Love post soon – and I’ve carried on with the Phryne Fisher re-read too. I’m going to need to try and actually go to the library in June too – as my library card has expired, so if I don’t, the library book list is about to dry up! And I read a fair few actual books in May – but I’m still behind on my goal for that for the year, so a big effort coming in June to try and catch up. All I need to do is get the hammock out and into the garden ready for summer reading now…
Bonus picture: a month in Wisteria. How could I resist doing a mash up when I’ve enjoyed watching it happen so much on my walks from Euston to the office!
*Usually includes some short stories/novellas/comics/graphic novels, but for the second month in a row it doesn’t!
Happy Monday everyone. It’s a three day week here in the UK because we have bank holidays for the Queen’s Jubilee at the end of the week. And we’re not the only country with holidays this week – it’s Memorial day in the US today. Anyway, as far as my week goes, this may be a new record for books that I’ve already written about as well as authors I’ve written about before. Still not making massive inroads into the still reading list – I’m going to blame the Vicky Bliss binge for that as well as the ongoing Phryne re-read. I’ll try and do better this week. If the weather continues to be nice, I might even get the Hammock out for some reading time! I’m down in London for a couple of nights this week – I have theatre tickets – so who knows what the end of month list will look like, and the end of week list, but hey, all books and no play makes Verity a dull girl.
So. Here’s a funny thing. My week in reading was going swimmingly, until Sunday afternoon, when I managed to give myself a steam scald on my thumb while doing the ironing (while watching Miss Marple) which meant I spent the rest of the day with my left hand wrapped in an ice pack and couldn’t hold a paperback. So that meant I couldn’t finish either Attack and Delay or Miss Moriarty, I Presume, and thus this week’s list looks shorter than I was expecting. I also have a slight problem for my book of the week pick tomorrow, because everything I did finish is either a reread or something that I didn’t quite like enough to recommend. So watch this space people….
I was in the office all five days last week, so plenty of reading time on the trains. Despite that, the excitement of Eurovision on Saturday along with some time fixing the fence in the garden mean the list is probably shorter than it could have been. I’ve accidentally started rereading the Vicky Bliss series (so the link to Elizabeth Peters isn’t entirely right because it takes you to the Amelia Peabody post) as well as working my way through the NetGalley books and a relisten to one of my favourite Pratchetts. And I finished the week with another E C R Lorac, which continue to be really entertaining whenever I come across them.