books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week In Books: October 9 – October 15

My house has furniture again!  More importantly my books are back – as you’ll know if you’ve read my new State of the Pile post.  But all the unpacking means that I haven’t read as many books as I was hoping for this week – although I have started making inroads into the newly returned backlog!

Read:

Moonlight over Manhattan by Sarah Morgan

Fireworks in Paradise by Kathi Daley

Margaret finds a Future by Mabel Esther Allen

Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich

Blue Ridge Sunrise by Denise Hunter

Started:

The Case of the Gilded Fly by Edmund Crispin

China Court by Rumer Godden

Murder is Binding by Lorna Barrett

Still reading:

The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz

The Golden House by Salman Rushdie

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

The Days of Anna Madrigal by Armistead Maupin

And given the state of the aforementioned pile, I’m redoubling my efforts not to buy books and so I have been newly virtuous and haven’t bought anything this week.  Lets see how long that lasts…

Adventure, Book of the Week, Fantasy, historical, mystery

Book of the Week: To Say Nothing of the Dog

Lots of painting and filling and cleaning in my week off work, and not as much reading as usual, but in the end it was an easy choice for this week’s BotW – Connie Willis’s To Say Nothing of the Dog. Delightfully this was a recommendation from a work colleague who thought I would love it and he was totally right. I love it when that happens.

Ned Henry has time-lag. He’s been shuttling between the 21st century and the 1940s trying to find a hideous artefact in the ruins of Coventry cathedral. But all those jumps have scrambled his brain and he’s sent to Victorian England to recover away from the demands of Lady Schrapnell – who is rebuilding the original Coventry cathedral in the middle of Oxford. The bad news is he has one job to do in the nineteenth century before he can relax. The trouble is, the time-lag means he can’t remember what it is. There’s a boat trip, eccentric dons, drippy maidens, dopey undergrads, a cat and a fellow time traveller called Verity Kindle.

I loved this so much. It’s got so much of my catnip in here: it’s got modern people having to grapple with the Victorian era, it’s full of references to other books – of particular interest to me through thread of Peter Wimsey and Golden Age crime novels – and a mystery adventure plot as they try and hunt down the Bishop’s Bird Stump and prevent the future from being altered because of their actions.

To recap: time travel, history, humour, literary in-jokes and Peter Wimsey references galore. What more could I want?

This was my first Connie Willis book, so now the research is going on to figure out which of her other novels might be my cup of tea. If you like the Chronicles of St Mary’s series, by Jodi Taylor, you should definitely try this but I can’t think of many other books to compare this to (If you have any other suggestions for fun time travelling novels please do let me know) although I think if you like steampunky novels this might work for you, ditto books full of references to books. I need to go and read Three Men in a Boat because that’s a big influence here, and I’ve never read it. I also need to go and buy myself a copy of this because I want one for myself so I can lend it and I’m going to have to give this copy back.

You can get a copy of To Say Nothing of the Dog from all the usual sources.

Happy reading!

 

books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week In Books: October 2 – October 8

A week off work – where we should have been going on holiday, but ended up working on the house.  So not as much reading time as I would have had had I been on the beach.  But the list is deceptive – I’ve also read my 30+ first round submissions for #Noirville and I can’t wait to tell you about my favourites!

Read:

Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

The Ninja’s Illusion by Gigi Pandian

To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis

In the Market for Murder by TE Kinsey

Rotherweird by Andrew Caldecott

Started:

The Days of Anna Madrigal by Armistead Maupin

 Still reading:

The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz

The Golden House by Salman Rushdie

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Moonlight over Manhattan by Sarah Morgan

 I may have bought a few books – but then I was on holiday and what’s a girl to do? You’ve got to have a holiday book or two!*

*NB actually six – two ebooks and four actual books. 

books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week In Books: September 24 – October 1

The home renovations continue – and once again my reading time is down.  And I’m not expecting the book count to go up a lot in the next few weeks because I’m expecting the Fahrenheit #Noirville entries to arrive soon and then I’ll be reading them instead!  Exciting times.

Read:

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Nadiya’s British Food Adventure (sampler) by Nadiya Hussain

The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell

The New Deadwardians by Dan Abnett

Die Like an Eagle by Donna Andrews

Fresh Complaint by Jeffrey Eugenides

Started:

Moonlight over Manhattan by Sarah Morgan

Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

The Ninja’s Illusion by Gigi Pandian

Still reading:

Rotherweird by Andrew Caldecott

The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz

The Golden House by Salman Rushdie

To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

On the brightside, I didn’t buy any books last week.  Which as we all know is a real achievement for me!

 

books, stats

September Stats

New books read this month: 26*

Books from the to-read pile: 7

Ebooks read: 16

Books from the Library book pile: 2

Non-fiction books: 4

#ReadHarder categories completed: 1

Most read author: Nick Bryan an Ta-Nehisi Coates (2 each)

Books read this year: 262

Books bought: 6 (all ebooks)

Books on the Goodreads to-read shelf: 529 (I don’t have copies of all of these!)

Eight categories left to cover…

*Includes some short stories/novellas/comics (4 this month)

 

Book of the Week, Forgotten books, women's fiction

Book of the Week: Anna and her Daughters

This week’s BotW is one I picked up as a Kindle Daily Deal a couple of weeks back: Anna and her Daughters by DE Stevenson.  You may remember me waxing lyrical about my love for Miss Buncle and her book back in a #Recommendsday about Comfort reads a while back and this was the first non-Buncle book I’ve read by DE Stevenson.

The cover of Anna and Her Daughters
I’m not sure about the cover on this, but hey, when the book is good it doesn’t matter!

The Plot:  Anna’s husband has died and the family’s finances are in a mess.  They’re going to have to sell the London house and move to somewhere smaller.  Anna decides that she wants to go back to the area of Scotland that she grew up in and starts making plans.  None of her three nearly grown up daughters are precisely keen on the idea, but only one, Jane, is prepared to make the best of it.  Anna and the girls move – Helen and Rosalie are practically kicking and screaming – and start their new lives.

The story is told through Jane’s eyes – she’s the plain but clever sister, who would have gone to Oxford if it hadn’t been for the money problems.  Helen is pretty, but selfish and used to getting her own way.  Rosalie isn’t as pretty as Helen, but isn’t clever like Jane either and tends to drift along in Helen’s shadow.  The combination of the three sisters makes for fascinating reading.  Anna is remarkably clear sighted about her daughters in some ways – she sees their faults in a way that many parents do not.  She tries to explain her attitude to Jane, who (justifiably) gets angry about the way that Helen treats people and the fact that she gets away with it.

As the book goes on we see the girls grow and change.  Jane discovers a gift for writing, Rosalie chooses security and Helen continues to be Helen, regardless of the consequences.  This book is very melodramatic in some ways but also feels like nothing much happens.  I loved it.  Especially when Miss Buncle gets a quick mention.

Anna and her Daughters is available in Kindle or you’ll have to go and find a secondhand paperback copy, which by the look of Amazon maybe expensive.

Happy Reading!

books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week In Books: September 18 – September 24

A busy week – but lots of train journeys.  I read a book and a bit on the way to and the way back from meeting Sir Patrick Stewart (!) to make this video for work. Sorry not sorry!

Read:

Anna and Her Daughters by D E Stevenson

Bones to Pick by Linda Lovely

Ax to Grind by Tonya Kappes

Accidentally on Purpose by Jill Shalvis

The Midnight Peacock by Katherine Woodfine

Thrice the Brinded Cat hath Mew’d by Alan Bradley

Black Panther 1: A Nation Beneath Our Feet by Ta-Nehisi Coates et al

BuzzBooks 2017: Romance by various authors

Started:

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell

Still reading:

Rotherweird by Andrew Caldecott

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz

The Golden House by Salman Rushdie

To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis

Fresh Complaint by Jeffrey Eugenides