books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week in Books: February 10 – February 16

An interesting week in reading and one where I’m really not sure what my Book of the Week is going to be tomorrow.  I’m sure it’ll come to me. It usually does. This week coming I have a lot of earlies and a lot of nights away from home, so we’ll see what happens to the reading list because of that…

Read:

The Threat Level Remains Severe by Rowena MacDonald*

Essex Poison by Ian Sansom

In the Crypt with a Candlestick by Daisy Waugh*

World of Wolf Hall and Bringing Up the Bodies

Year of the King by Antony Sher

The Perils of Pleasure by Julie Anne Long

Burnout by Emily Nagoski*

Started:

An Unsuitable Woman by Cat Gordon

Still reading:

Bellweather Rhapsody by Kate Racculia

Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg*

I wish I could say that I was restrained last week and didn’t buy any books, but I can’t.  Little Sister is stuck in China with nothing to do, so I bought a bunch of Kindle Daily Deals because we share a kindle account. Also the prequel for Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series came out so I had to buy that too.

Bonus photo: Regular readers will be aware of my love of Terry Pratchett – and so this week’s bonus is the Discworld Emporium’s Valentine’s message from the Guild of Seamstresses – which my sister sent me andwhich made me laugh a lot.

An * next to a book title indicates that it came from NetGalley.

books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week in Books: February 3 – February 9

A busy week at work – including a weekend, so lots of train reading here, hence the growing list of still reading – there are actual books and non-fiction that my brain has been too fried for. Still I have days off now, so fingers crossed…

Read:

Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Miss Austen by Gill Hornby*

How to Keep a Secret by Sarah Morgan*

The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston

One Enchanted Evening by Anton du Beke*

2019 Holiday Epilogues by Cat Sebastian

Redressed by Cat Sebastian

Blitzed by Alexa Martin

Started:

The Threat Level Remains Severe by Rowena MacDonald*

Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg*

Still reading:

Burnout by Emily Nagoski*

Bellweather Rhapsody by Kate Racculia

Essex Poison by Ian Sansom

Year of the King by Antony Sher

One book bought, two ebooks bought (including that copy of Love Lettering I mentioned in my post) and two more pre-ordered. And one of my existing preorders turned up.

Bonus photo: I was working all weekend, so I stayed in London, which meant I got to go out on Saturday night. And I chose some Cabaret. I’ll leave you to guess which song was finishing in this photo (hint: it’s from a musical).

Michael Twaits singing

An * next to a book title indicates that it came from NetGalley.

books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week in Books: January 27 – February 2

Four late shifts last week – but I was driving part way to work for two of them, which cut my reading time substantially.  But still, some interesting stuff on there (although not a lot of NetGalley progress, oops) and a very easy choice for tomorrow’s Book of the Week.  In case you missed it on Saturday, here are my January stats – and coming up on Wednesday there’ll be some mini reviews of the best of the rest from January.

Read:

Love Lettering by Kate Claybourn

The Prince of Broadway by Joanna Shupe

99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret by Craig Brown

Paper Girls Vol 4 by Brian K Vaughan et al

Fence Vol 3 by CS Pacat et al

Wedding Cake Crush by Jenn McKinley

The Mind Readers by Margery Allingham

Started:

Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Essex Poison by Ian Sansom

Year of the King by Antony Sher

Still reading:

Burnout by Emily Nagoski*

Miss Austen by Gill Hornby*

Bellweather Rhapsody by Kate Racculia

Two ebooks bought – one of which was a copy of something I read from the library and wanted a copy of…

Bonus photo: I had a very boring week, so this week’s photo is courtesy of my dad – and my mum’s snowdrop display.  She has a bit of an obsession…

Snowdrops

An * next to a book title indicates that it came from NetGalley.

books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week in Books: January 20 – January 26

We got back from our holiday on Monday evening and then I had a couple of days before I went back to work, so the start of the week in reading went well – and then it got awfully busy when I went back to work – and we went away for the weekend and actually Went Outside!

Read:

Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin

Gone Viking by Helen Russell*

The Case for Jamie by Brittany Cavallaro

Girl Squads by Sam Maggs*

Naturally Tan by Tan France*

Caramel Crush by Jenn McKinlay

The Division Bell Mystery by Ellen Wilkinson

Started:

Bellweather Rhapsody by Kate Racculia

The Mind Readers by Margery Allingham

Still reading:

Burnout by Emily Nagoski*

Miss Austen by Gill Hornby*

Bonus photo: we went to Cambridge for the world for a concert and of course that meant I got to go and play in Heffers for an hour or so. And I spotted this gorgeous display for The Doll Factory, which of course was one of the books I read on holiday. So it seemed a little serendipitous!

Display of copies of The Doll Factory

An * next to a book title indicates that it came from NetGalley.

book round-ups, holiday reading

What I read on my holiday: January 2020 edition

As you’ll have seen from this week’s Week in Books I was on holiday last week and read a lot.  Now I’ve already written about Lucy Parker’s Headliners as Book of the Week, but I wanted to do some mini-reviews of some of the others as well.  There are some that I loved, and some that I could see were very good – but just not quite for me, so I wanted to give them a mention too.

If I never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane*

Cover of If I Never Met You

Mhairi McFarlane has been a BotW pick before (after my birthday holiday a year ago in fact!), and once again I really, really enjoyed this. Laurie’s longterm boyfriend breaks up with her out of the blue at the start of this book, leaving her life in turmoil – not only do they live together, but they work together and it’s all a bit unbearable.  After getting stuck in a broken down elevator with the office playboy he makes a proposal: he needs a serious girlfriend to convince the bosses that he’s serious about his job – she needs the rumour mill to find something else to talk about other than her break-up.  Soon they’re posting pictures of their new relationship on social media – much to the astonishment of their co-workers.  But what is the price they’re going to have to pay for their deception – and is Laurie getting a little bit too attached to a man who says he doesn’t believe in love?  I was a little worried at the start that it was going to be a bit gloomy, because Laurie’s breakup was really, really bleak – and being pretty near her age, I could really empathise with her. But once the fauxmance plot got underway, it was really, really great. I was worried that the resolution wouldn’t be satisfying enough, but actually this was really neat. And for those of you who like a heroine who is older than the hero, this has that for you too!

How to be a Footballer by Peter Crouch

How to be a Footballer on a sun lounger

This was Him Indoors’s top airport bookshop pick. I wasn’t expecting to read it, because even though I like football (I was the first female voiceover on UEFA.com don’t you know!) I don’t really read footballer memoirs.  But then he laughed so much at it and read me so many bits from it that I just had to read it too.  And it’s really good. Crouch has had a really interesting career, knows that he’s not a typical footballer (his build, his skills, his career trajectory) and is very funny.  It’s written with Tom Fordyce and I don’t know how that arrangement worked, but the end product sounds very Peter Crouch, and also not at all what you’d expect from a footballer’s book. One to add to the list of books to buy to give as gifts too.

Xeni by Rebekah Weatherspoon

Cover of Xeni

This is modern take on the marriage of convenience trope – which I love in historical romance but is hard to pull off often in contemporary. But never fear, Rebekah Weatherspoon has done it! Xeni Everly-Wilkins is in upstate New York to clear out her recently departed aunt’s massive house. But when Sable’s will is read, family secrets spill out and in order for Xeni to claim her inheritance, she has to marry. Her aunt has even picked out the man: Mason McInroy. Sable was a mentor to him, and had promised to leave him some money to pay off the debt that made him leave Scotland, but she didn’t tell Mason about the conditions. Xeni and Mason decide to marry for the money and then divorce as soon as they can. But when it turns into a friends with benefits type relationship, will they actually want to break up? The dialogue is great, the hero is plus-sized, they’re both bi-sexual and the relationship is steamy and a little bit kinky. This is probably the most explicit on the page romance I’ve recommended in a while – it will make you blush – a lot – if you read it in public. I raced through this and could have read another 100 pages with Xeni and Mason.

The Doll Factory by Elizabeth MacNeal*

Cover of The Doll Factory

Creepy, atmospheric and not entirely my sort of book but very well written. I found the juxtaposition between the two threads of the story annoying more than anything else and I was much more interested in one side of the story than the other and that influenced my reading experience.  I also wanted a more definite resolution but that’s fairly common with me – and if you’re a regular here, you’ve heard me complain about that sort of thing before.

The Butterfly Bride by Vanessa Riley*

Cover of the Butterfly Bride

I think Vanessa Riley may just be too melodramatic for me. I like the premise of this – illegitimate daughter of duke wants to be married off by Christmas so she can be independent – but I just don’t like it in the execution.  I’ve had the same experience with the previous books in the series, but the blurbs are always so intriguing and so I keep coming back again. I think I just like a bit more humour and a bit less angst in my romances. But if you do like the drama, this has all you could want to keep you turning the pages and is well written to boot.

So there you have it. Four books from my holiday reading selection for your consideration. They’re all out now and should be easily available from all the usual sources – although The Butterfly Bride is probably a special order situation in the UK if you want a physical copy. The paperback edition of The Doll Factory is out in March and should be preorderable.

Happy Reading!

books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week in Books: January 13 – January 19

It was my birthday this week, so as is traditional we went away. But this time we went and got some winter sun so I had some quality reading time on the sun lounger.

Read:

If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane*

Show Trial by Thomas Doherty*

Maigret and the Murderer by Georges Simonon

Headliners by Lucy Parker*

Department of Sensitive Crimes by Alexander McCall Smith*

Lethal White by Robert Galbraith

The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal*

How to be a Footballer by Peter Crouch

The Blood Card by Elly Griffiths

Black, Listed by Jeffrey Boakye*

Applied Electromagnetism by Susannah Nix

Xeni by Rebekah Weatherspoon

The Butterfly Bride by Vanessa Riley*

Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs by Caitlin Doughty

Time Traveller’s Guide to Elizabethan England by Ian Mortimer

Started:

Burnout by Emily Nagoski*

Miss Austen by Gill Hornby*

Gone Viking by Helen Russell*

Still reading:

The Case for Jamie by Brittany Cavallaro

Bonus photo: can confirm, we have been on holiday. Bliss.

View across a very quiet beach

An * next to a book title indicates that it came from NetGalley.

books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week in Books: January 6 – January 12

A steady week in reading – but not much progress on the NetGalley target…

Read:

When A Duchess Says I Do by Grace Burrows

When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton

Two for Sorrow by Nichola Upson

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee

The Other Side of the Coin by Angela Kelly

Sweet Talkin’ Lover by Tracey Livesay

Vanilla Beaned by Jenn McKinlay

Started:

If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane*

Still reading:

The Blood Card by Elly Griffiths

The Case for Jamie by Brittany Cavallaro

Lethal White by Robert Galbraith

Bonus photo: I went to Eurofest at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern on Friday night and because my friend Tom is a super fan, he staked out the front row. So here’s my picture of Tamara Todevska – who represented North Macedonia last year!

An * next to a book title indicates that it came from NetGalley.