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.

books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week in Books: December 30 – January 5

It’s strange – because this post covers the very end of last year as well as the first five days of 2020 and yet the end of 2019 books feel like I read them eons ago already.  Strange.  Anyway, here we are in 2020 – if you missed it, I wrote a post last week about the books that I’m looking forward to this year.  A couple of house keeping updates: firstly I’ve been trialing adding links to these posts for a couple of weeks, back to posts where I’ve written about those authors before and I’m going to try and make a habit this year.  Secondly, I’ve got a huge NetGalley backlog going on at the moment – and have had for a year, so my big reading resolution (yes I know I said I hate them, but this is the only one I’ve made) this year is to get that down, so I’m trialling marking them here with an asterix, and hopefully the end of month stats posts this year will show an uptick in NetGalley reading. We can but hope.

Read:

Dancing Star by Gladys Malvern

The Chicken Chronicles by Alice Walker

100 Nasty Women of History by Hannah Jewell

Rules by Jenny Colgan (writing as Jane Beaton)

The Angel with Two Faces by Nicola Upson

Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis*

The Making of a Manager by Julie Zhuo*

Furious Hours by Casey Cep*

Weird War Two by Richard Denham*

Started:

Lethal White by Robert Galbraith

When A Duchess Says I Do by Grace Burrows

Still reading:

The Blood Card by Elly Griffiths

The Case for Jamie by Brittany Cavallaro

Four books from Nick Hern ordered as I was writing last week’s BotW post and a book and a cook book from Amazon. So not exactly a great start to the year in terms of not buying stuff, even if technically the Nick Hern order was in 2019…

Bonus photo: A follow up from the picture in the December Stats post – here’s this year’s Beat the To-Read Shelf bookcase drawing ready to go…

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

books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week in Books: December 23 – December 29

I do hope everyone had a good Christmas.  I got a stack of books (see picture) and ate a lot of lovely food.  But as well as Christmas, this was the week that the RWA (Romance Writers of America) set itself on fire (if you missed it, here’s a good timeline of what went down from Clare Ryan – but suffice to say it was such a big deal that the AP wrote an article about it) – so now seems like a good time to remind you about my Diverse Romances, from back in March, which was written because of the RITA nominations drama but has loads of recommendations for good stuff written by interesting people that it seems the RWA doesn’t really care about. Sigh. In actual reading terms, this week I have mostly been reading books from the TBR bookshelf because I have a spread in my bullet journal that I want to complete before the end of the year.

Read:

Ghosts of Painting Past by Sybil Johnson

The Art of Theft by Sherry Thomas

I Go by Sea, I Go by Land by PL Travers

Design for Living by Noel Coward

The Rat-Catcher’s Daughter by KJ Charles

Trivial Pursuits by Frank Vickery

Night of a Thousand Stars by Deanna Raybourn

Binny for Short by Hillary McKay

Waiting in the Wings by Noel Coward

Year of the Fat Knight by Antony Sher

Started:

The Angel with Two Faces by Nicola Upson

The Case for Jamie by Brittany Cavallaro

Still reading:

The Blood Card by Elly Griffiths

I bought a few books this week – mostly ebooks and preorders supporting various authors caught up in the aforementioned RWA debacle. And obviously there was some incoming from Christmas…

Bonus photo: The Christmas book arrivals (the the tbr bookshelf in the background).

books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week in Books: December 16 – December 22

Lots of bonus posts last week – you can catch up  here, here and here. But I can also confirm, I have the lurgy. This is not a drill. A week of earlies on top of the end of the election campaign and I got to my day off and got ill. So unfair. But I’m not the only one. My only hope is that it’ll be gone in time for Christmas. It’s feeling a bit forlorn at the moment though I have to say.

Read:

Fair Play by Eve Rodsky

Upon the Midnight Clear by Tasha Alexander

Look Alive, Twenty-Five by Janet Evanovich

Christmas Secrets by the Sea by Jane Lovering

The Crime at Black Dudley by Margery Allingham

Equal by Carrie Gracie

Started:

The Blood Card by Ellie Griffiths

Ghosts of Painting Past by Sybil Johnson

The Art of Theft by Sherry Thomas

Still reading:

N/a

Bonus photos: some filming in Fitzroy Square on Thursday afternoon.

 

Book of the Week, new releases

Book of the Week: The Starless Sea

I read some really good stuff last week and I actually started writing this week’s BotW about a different book – because the Starless Sea has already had a lot of hype about it and I had a couple of reservations. And then I went out and bought myself a copy because I just kept thinking about it – and I realised that probably meant I should be writing about it instead. So the good news is you get another post from me tomorrow, but I figure spending full price on a hardback that I’ve already read means that this should be my Book of the Week.

Cover of the Starless Sea

The Starless Sea is the much anticipated second novel from Erin Morganstern.  At first when Zachary Rawlings finds a mysterious book in the university, he’s just a mildly intrigued. But then he reads it and finds part of his own childhood among the stories and he needs to know where it came from. The trail leads him to a masquerade ball in New York and then through a doorway to a mysterious ancient library, way underground that is the gateway to a hidden world. Time moves differently there and there are some who have sacrificed a lot to protect it – but there are also forces trying to destroy it. Along with one of the people who seems belong there – Mirabel – and Dorian, the man who brought him there, Zachary soon finds himself in the middle of a battle for the future of the Starless Sea.

Zachary’s story is interspersed with stories from the people who have lived in the Starless Sea. I actually found this a little discombobulating at first because it was hard to work out what was real and how it fitted in with Zachary’s story. But I think that that’s the point.  It did mean that it took me a little while to get into the book – because it was really easy to read a little bit and then stop. But once I did get into it, I ended up reading the last 300 pages (if you can have a final 300 pages of a nearly 500 page novel, but you know what I mean) in less that 24 hours because I was so totally caught up in Zachary’s adventure.  But then when I finished it, I wasn’t sure about the ending because I wanted it to be more definitive.  So off I went for the rest of the week’s reading and read something else that I really liked and was going to pick instead because of that slow start and my feelings about the ending. But then I found myself thinking about the book – the world, the adventure and what might have happened next. And I realised that I wanted to read it again. Now when I read it, I had borrowed it from the library – and as it was a skip the line loan it was a short borrowing period that had already run out. So really I had no choice other than to buy myself a copy. And what a lovely copy it is – it’s even signed.  And the endpapers are really pretty too. So now I get to read it again. And I suspect if/when my mum reads this post (*waves* hi mum) she’s going to want to borrow it too. And it’ll look lovely on my bookshelf.

Hardback edition of the Starless Sea

It’s eight years since Morganstern’s first book The Night Circus came out, and it was a mega hit.  I didn’t read it until 2016, but when I did it was a BotW. And it is one of those books that people love but is nearly impossible to find anything like.  It’s magical realism but there’s nothing really quite like it, which is why people have been so desperate to read another book from Morganstern. I honestly thought it would be hard for this to live up to the expectation, but it actually pretty much did.  It’s a completely different world, but it’s as beguiling and unique as the circus was. I think this is going to be *the* book club pick of 2020 – but there’s so much to talk about and to explore.  I hope it doesn’t take another eight years for Morganstern’s next book (even if I only had to wait three this time) because it really is in a little corner of the bookish world by itself.

Endpapers showing a library

As previously mentioned, I read this as an ebook from the Library, but have now bought my own. My copy came from Foyles yesterday (Monday), it’s signed and I got a nice bee pin page with it, but I can’t find the link that I did the click and collect from  – just the normal one, which is a couple of quid cheaper, but doesn’t have the badge or the signature so they may have sold out. Waterstones also have a special edition (they seem to be out of their signed ones though). And of course it’s also available on Kindle and Kobo and as an audiobook from Audible and Kobo.

Happy Reading!

books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week in Books: December 9 – December 15

What. A. Week. It has been so busy.  So much going on with the election and an overnight shift for results and just being exhausted. So tired. Still, it’s the run in to Christmas now, so that’s good. Can it please calm down a little bit?

Read:

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgerstern

Death Beside the Seaside by TE Kinsey

Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts by Katie Racculia

A Delicate Deception by Cat Sebastian

25 Days ’til Christmas by Poppy Alexander

Lumberjanes Vol 13 by Shannon Waters et al

Death on a Quiet Day by Michael Innes

Started:

Look Alive, Twenty-Five by Janet Evanovich

Still reading:

Christmas Secrets by the Sea by Jane Lovering

No books bought, but one pre-order arrived (the Cat Sebastian).

Bonus photo: I went to the panto on Tuesday night and it was a real trip!

 

Panto programme