down the tbr hole

Down the TBR Hole #17

No sooner do I remove books from my TBR, I replace them with others. It is a never-ending battle… but I have to make some effort to get it under control, right? That’s what this post is all about!

I feel my previous Down The TBR Hole posts were getting a bit lengthy, so I am cutting the number of books I am reviewing from 10 down to 5.

To recap, the meme was created by Lia @ Lost in a Story and the idea is to review the books on your TBR to decide if you still want to read them. The rules are as follows: –

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books.
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Let’s review the next five books on my list!

 

The Kennedy Brothers: The Rise and Fall of Jack and Bobby

Goodreads – The Kennedy Brothers

 

Eight years apart in age, John F. and Robert F. Kennedy were wildly different in temperament and sensibility. Jack was the leader — charismatic, ironic, capable of extraordinary growth and reach, yet also reckless. Bobby was the fearless, hardworking Boy Scout — unafraid of dirty work and ruthless about protecting his brother and destroying their enemies. Jack, it was said, was the first Irish Brahman, Bobby the last Irish Puritan.

As Richard D. Mahoney demonstrates with brilliant clarity in this impeccably documented, magisterial book, the Kennedys lived their days of power in dangerous, trackless territory. The revolution in Cuba had created a poisonous cauldron of conflicting interests. As attorney general, Bobby was determined to bring down Castro and the Mafia; it was during this mission that the very forces of crime he was trying to eradicate came into play.

The Mafia, and in particular the murderous and charming Johnny Rosselli, had been enlisted by the CIA to eliminate Castro. Bobby may have spearheaded an anti-Mafia crusade, but Joe and Jack had courted the mob during the 1960 presidential race. Blackmail and double-dealing were the order of the day. Achieving power meant compromising the best and brightest of ideals and entering into a Faustian bargain — as Bobby Kennedy discovered on November 22, 1963.

Mahoney gives us the Kennedy days and years as we have never before seen them. Here are Jack and Bobby in all their hubris and humanity, youthfulness and fatalism. Here, also, is American history as it unfolds. The Kennedy Brothers is a fresh and masterful account of two men whose legacy continues to hold the American imagination.

 

My Thoughts…

There is very much a historical theme to this post; I must have been in the mindset that I wanted to learn a lot more. I l already have an e-copy of this book, so I am definitely going to read it. The presidency of the US has never been a subject I have taken an interest in before, so reading this will be a new experience for me. In the past I have enjoyed something similar, however, focussing on a diplomatic visit to the USA by Nikita Khrushchev. The thought of a grown man having a tantrum because he can’t go to Disney World still makes me giggle now and then.

Verdict: Keep

 

Crown and Country: A History of England Through the Monarchy

Goodreads – Crown and Country

 

David Starkey looks at the monarchy as a whole, charting its history from Roman times, to the Wars of the Roses, the chaos of the Civil War, the fall of Charles I and Cromwell’s emergence as Lord Protector – all the way up until the Victorian era when Britain’s monarchs came face-to-face with modernity.

 

My Thoughts…

Book two in my apparent history crusade explores different tides – the British monarchy. Considering I am TECHNICALLY British (as Manx isn’t an official nationality), my knowledge of the monarchy is terrible. I spent my time in school learning about the world wars and the financial boom/depression of the US. The rulers of our country, past and present, are hardly touched upon. Isn’t that a little embarrassing? I’m rectifying that mistake by keeping this book on the list.

Verdict: Keep

 

Merchants of Virtue (The Huguenot Connection trilogy Book 1)

Goodreads – Merchants of Virtue

 

MERCHANTS OF VIRTUE follows a rich merchant family during of the repeal of religious tolerance by Louis XIV.

France 1685, Protestants fear for their lives following Louis the Greats revocation of their rights. Jeanne Delpech returns from her chateau to the Quercy capital to find her townhouse overrun by mercenary soldiers. The Sun Kings dragoons are given carte blanche to rob, beat, and commit atrocities to force Huguenots (French Protestants) to abjure their religion. Can Jeanne keep her children and her unborn baby without forsaking her faith?

A true story rich in historical detail, fast-moving action and powerful emotion.

 

My Thoughts…

I seem to be covering history from all angles here, as this book explores history and religion. When I first discovered this book I knew I had to read it. I came across it, courtesy of my Bookbub daily email with book deals on it and fell in love with the synopsis straightaway!

Verdict: Keep

 

The Saint’s Rise (Ignifer Cycle, #1)

Goodreads – The Saint’s Rise

 

No heroes endure…

Three thousand years ago the world fell into darkness, when the great black mouth of the Rot ravaged the land. Across the glorious library city of Aradabar its dark tongues hammered down, leveling the glass towers of learning and entombing the bookyards in a thick blanket of lava. Only a single child survived the devastation; an infant with a prophecy carved into his skin, promising the rise of a hero powerful enough to slay the Rot for good.

Now that child is a young man, beginning to question the meaning of his many scars…

Now those scars are hunted by a jealous King, ruler of a brutal industrial city, where a thousand bizarre castes toil away like slaves…

Now a dark beast is watching, an Unforgiven, seeking to fulfill a promise made long ago…

And now the Rot has returned, its great black mouth gaping large in the sky, bringing chaos and fear to a world where no heroes endure…

 

My Thoughts…

I actually saw this book on Bookbub again only a couple of days ago. The cover caught my eye because I recognized it! At least my TBR isn’t a complete blur in my mind!

I can’t resist a little Fantasy. Sure, it’s a bit cliché with its prophesied child hero and all that jazz, but it has good reviews and I’m in a good mood! It stays!

Verdict: Keep

 

The Incendium Plot (Christopher Radcliff, #1)

Goodreads – The Incendium Plot

 

England in 1572 is a powder keg of rumour, fanaticism, treachery and dissent. All it would take is a single spark . . .

In the England of Elizabeth I, the fear of plague and invasion, and the threat of insurrection are constant. As the Earl of Leicester’s chief intelligencer, lawyer Dr Christopher Radcliff is tasked with investigating rumours of treachery at home and the papist threat from abroad. And with heresy and religious unrest simmering beneath the surface of a country on the brink, Radcliff is under pressure to get results.

Then two brutal and seemingly motiveless killings point alert Radcliff to the whisper of a new plot against the queen. There are few clues, and all he and his network of agents have to go on is a single word: incendium. But what does it mean – and who lies behind it? Christopher Radcliff must find out before it’s too late . . .

(Please note: The Incendium Plot was first published in hardback as Incendium)

 

My Thoughts…

This Down the TBR Hole post focuses on a number of historical fiction, but if there is one slightly different to the others… it’s this one.

The period The Incendium Plot is based on is more recent than my usual reads. Usually, I go for the Tudor period or even earlier to the Viking invasion of Britain. I know a little of the history of this event already, so I’m excited to see how the book portrays it all!

Verdict: Keep

Okay, so it appears I’m not getting rid of any books on this occasion. Sometimes that annoys me, (it is the point of the post after all), but equally I suppose I can be assured that the books on my TBR are of genuine interest.

Have you reviewed your TBR recently, or just added to it?

 

Can’t Wait Wednesday – 3 (+2) 2019 Book Releases

As it is a brand New Year, (okay, so we are over a week in… who cares?) I want to share with you some of the books I am really looking forward to reading this year! Usually, this is a weekly post, but I’m only really writing this as a one-off. Maybe I’ll pick it up more regularly in the future if it proves popular, so if you want to see it again, you need to let me know!

This series began as “Waiting On Wednesday” and hosted at Breaking the Spine.  However, the original creator is no longer able to host the meme and it has now linked up with Can’t Wait Wednesday, hosted at Wishful Endings.

So, which three 2019 releases am I looking forward to reading?

 

Children of Virtue & Vengeance – Tomi Adeyemi

Goodreads – Children of Virtue & Vengeance

Expected Publication Date: 5 March 2019

 

I really enjoyed reading Children of Blood & Bone last year. I love the magical elements of the book, in addition to its focus on ethnicity and oppression. It’s done in such a tasteful but poignant way. I would love the opportunity to read more books like this one!

 

Darkdawn – Jay Kristoff

Goodreads – Darkdawn

Expected Publication Date: 3 September 2019

 

I have listened to the first book of the series on Audible and I am part way through the second book. The world-building and history behind the main storyline are fantastic. These little details are dropped into the storyline that they don’t hinder the main action; if anything, they enhance it. If Book 3 is as good as Books 1&2, I don’t want the series to end!

 

The Testaments – Margaret Atwood

Goodreads – The Testaments

Expected publication Date: 10 September 2019

 

The first time I read The Handmaid’s Tale, I wasn’t enamoured. I was young then (says my sagely 23 y/o self), but the second time I read it, I loved it! I have also come to really enjoy the recent TV show. I’m glad the book isn’t connected to that show. As similar as they are, the TV show is a close but modernised adaptation… not a dramatisation of the book. I also think the title is apt and I love the nod it gives to the Bible. It is in His name that society justifies the oppression of women, after all. I always wondered what happened to Offred. I never imagined it was anything good; now I get to find out!

 

Unconfimed Future Releases

I want to mention a couple of other books I am looking forward to, but these neither have expected release dates, nor do I expect one soon.

 

The Winds of Winter – George R. R. Martin

Goodreads – The Winds of Winter

 

I am completely in love with the Song of Ice and Fire series. It’s one I will pick up again and again throughout my lifetime. I currently have e-book versions of the series, but eventually, I want to invest in physical copies. I am currently re-reading the series (A Clash of Kings at the moment) as the final season is on television this year! At last! I’m both excited and sad at the same time!

 

Doors of Stone – Patrick Rothfuss

Goodreads – Doors of Stone

 

This is another one of the best fantasy book series of all time. My favourite thing about them is the narration. I love the idea that cocky Kvothe gets brought down a peg or two by his experience and how unapologetic he is for that. We all make mistakes. It’s more fun to read someone else’s though!

When will these last two books be released? Does it matter when? No, not really. It makes me angry when I read “negative reviews” of a book which basically consist of people complaining about the wait for them to be published. Why do that? If you have loved a book series so much to follow it this far, then surely the next book is worth the wait!

Would you not feel cheated if an author gave into pressure and published a book earlier than planned and it didn’t live up to expectation? I sure would! I, for one, am more than happy to settle down and discover a few more new authors or start another series in the meantime. Irrespective of how much noise you make, the books will be ready when they are ready.

So go sit down with a cup of tea and read something else. Good things come to those who wait.

 

Sunday Summary

Sunday Summary: 6th January 2019

Doesn’t the weekend, and the end of it, roll around all too quickly! The first week of the New Year is over… has anyone broken their resolutions yet?

I wrote about my New Year’s Resolutions earlier this week, as well as giving details of this month’s planned reading list. If you haven’t checked that out already, it would be really awesome if you do! I’d also like to know what resolutions you have set yourself! In addition to the resolutions on my post, I am also making a conscious effort to read more bookish blogs. I’ve fallen out of the habit, but even if I only take 20 minutes out of my day, that’s more than I am doing now. I have already read some fun, interesting resolutions posts; the best of luck to everyone in achieving your goals!

I have also written my first review of the year this week. It’s a review that I feel is overdue as I finished the book at the end of October last year. Unfortunately, I committed myself to a lot of blog tours in November. That’s why I have only gotten around to reviewing The Swan Keeper by Milana Marsenich now. This is the second book I have reviewed of hers, the first being Copper Sky. It was lovely that she contacted me to tell me what a pleasant surprise it was to see my thoughts on the book.

So, what have I been reading this week?

 

Books Read

 

It’s been a little while since I’ve been able to lend a mention to three books in this section! Maybe all this New Year, new me lark does mean something after all. No harm in a fresh start. My first mention is going to be brief though – in last week’s Sunday Summary post I promised to finish The Cathedral of Known Things before bed… and I did.

The majority of my reading time this week has been invested in The Road to Alexander by Jennifer Macaire. I had started the book in December but forgot to add it to my Goodreads and update my progress. So, on the 1st of January when I wrote my reading list, I confidently updated my progress without checking because I was convinced I was 46% through the book. Turns out, I had only read 31%. I had a bit more reading to do than I thought, but never mind. I still managed to finish the book on Friday night, so I’m happy.

This weekend, I have been reading Black Matter by G. D. Parker. I am reviewing the book later this month as part of the organised blog tour. I have to admit, I wasn’t really sure where the plot was going when I first started this book. The synopsis is quite vague in detail, but now I am hooked. I read the first 40% in one sitting and I can’t wait to see how the rest of the narrative unravels.

 

Books Discovered

After kicking myself back into the blog reading action, I stumbled across a review for Onyx & Ivory by Mindee Arnett. I am an awful person because after telling myself a HUNDRED times to save where the book recommendations come from so I can credit that person here… I haven’t. I’ve tried searching for it too, but no luck. Sorry!

The review discussed how the blogger enjoyed the political elements within the book. As I love the dynamic and intrigue from a political stance in novels such as the Song of Ice & Fire series by George R. R. Martin, I think I could really enjoy Onyx & Ivory.

 

Coming Up…

 

For the first time EVER, I am being sent on a business trip this week! Eek! I’m equally excited and nervous because I haven’t been to London since I was a child. How can I tell I am nervous? I’ve already started trying to look into trains and taking screenshots of maps etc. I’m a worrier, okay, but I’m sure I’ll be fine. It’s just a day trip, but I have to get up in the early hours of the morning night to get there, it’s going to be a long day! I’m sure I’ll enjoy it though!

Back to the bookish side of things, what posts are going live this week?

As we are fresh into the New Year, I feel it’s only appropriate to take a look at some of the books I am really looking forward to reading this year. This will be my first Can’t-Wait Wednesday post, so I’m looking forward to sharing it with you!

 

 

down the tbr holeA little later in the week, I am going to work on whittling down the TBR with another Down the TBR Hole post. It doesn’t matter what I do, I can’t get the numbers down. I’m forever adding new books so it feels like I am chasing my own tail sometimes. At least I know I genuinely want to read the books on the list!

 

I want to make good progress on the reading front this week. My aim is to finish Black Matter within the next couple of days, as it is a relatively short read. Next, I’ll be moving on to reading You Can’t Make Old Friends by Tom Trott. This is the first book of the series, for which I am taking part in a blog tour next month. I am hopeful that I will have this one finished, or nearly finished, by the time I am writing my next Sunday Summary post.

 

That’s all from me for now folks! Don’t forget… I would love to hear what your New Year’s resolutions are! What are you reading to kick off 2019?

 

Book Review Banner

Book Review: The Swan Keeper – Milana Marsenich

***I was very kindly provided with a free copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. All the opinions stated below are my own ***

Girlhood, courage, nature, and flight from a tyrant’s hand in post-frontier Montana.

Goodreads – The Swan Keeper

The Swan Keeper is an historical, coming of age novel set in Northwest Montana’s Mission Valley in the late 1920s.

Lillian Connelly loves trumpeter swans and vows to protect them from a hunter who is killing them and leaving their carcasses for the wolves and coyotes to ravage.

On her eleventh birthday Lilly’s family visits the Cattail Marsh to see the newly hatched cygnets. The family outing turns tragic when Dean Drake shows up with his shotgun and fires on not only the swans, but on Lilly’s family. Unable to prevent tragedy, Lillian witnesses Drake kill her father, injure her mother, and slaughter the bevy of trumpeter swans.

The sheriff, Charlie West, thinks that Lilly is reacting to the trauma and blaming Drake because of a previous conflict between Drake and her father. Lilly’s mother, sister, and her best friend, Jerome West, the sheriff’s son, all think the same thing: that Lilly is trying to make sense of a senseless accident.

Left alone to bring Dean Drake to justice, Lilly’s effort is subverted when Drake woos her sister, courts her mother, and moves into their home.

 

My Thoughts…

Who cannot love a girl who will risk her life:

1.       for the sake of the truth and;

2.      the lives of innocent trumpeter swans?

She has guts; some would say gall, but Lilly will not be chastened. Too young, she is forced to grow up and face the harshest realities of life, and that no one takes an impulsive eleven-year-old seriously.

As in Copper Sky, the natural beauty of the Montana landscape shines throughout the narrative. Picturesque mountains and vivid descriptions set the scene of Montana in the 1920’s. The changing of the seasons mark the passage of time as Lilly transitions from a child into the headstrong, confident young woman she is meant to be.

Nothing is impossible for this young girl. When everyone refuses to believe that she witnessed her father murdered by the man he feuded with, she sets out for justice against all odds. But Drake is on to her? What lengths will he go to, to ensure that no one believes her?

Having already read Copper Sky, I know the high standard of writing and character development from Milana Marsenich. Once again she has proven her ability to write strong, memorable characters. During a time when a family is tested to its limits, the bond holding them together proves that blood is thicker than water. Two squabbling sisters are able to pull together when it matters most. Hardship and struggle are themes that Milana can write incredibly well. Death, loss and sad kind of acceptance are all feelings we can relate to. Experiencing such a tragedy from the perspective of a child makes those feelings all the more profound.

Lilly’s youthful determination and Drake’s easy arrogance are but two examples of how each of these characters is brought to life. These two are opposing forces of nature and they catalyze one another. The depth and complexity of humanity are explored in each and every character, though. I’m a firm believer that Milana’s experience in mental health therapy lends a greater understanding as to how we, as people, tick, especially under stress.

The Swan Keeper is a beautiful novel. Tragic and heartfelt, yet with its own admirable beauty and appreciation of nature, the novel is not just an entertaining read. It’s a journey.

 

 

Author Bio – Milana Marsenich

Milana Marsenich lives in Northwest Montana near Flathead Lake at the base of the beautiful Mission Mountains. She enjoys quick access to the mountains and has spent many hours hiking the wilderness trails with friends and dogs. For the past 20 years she has worked as a mental health therapist in a variety of settings. As a natural listener and a therapist, she has witnessed amazing generosity and courage in others. She first witnessed this in her hometown of Butte, Montana, a mining town with a rich history and the setting for Copper Sky, her first novel. Copper Sky was chosen as a Spur Award finalist for Best Western Historical Novel.

She has an M.Ed. in Mental Health Counseling from Montana State University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Montana. She has previously published in Montana Quarterly, Big Sky Journal, The Polishing Stone, The Moronic Ox, BookGlow, and Feminist Studies.

She has a short story included in The Montana Quarterly book: Montana, Warts and All. She has two published novels, Copper Sky and The Swan Keeper.

Bio Source: https://milanamarsenich.com

New Years Resolutions and Reading List – January 2019

Happy New Year everybody! I would like to wish you all a fabulous 2019!

I’m not one for setting myself New Year Resolutions… aside from a reading goal. I find them difficult to stick to. That being said, I am setting myself two bookish and one personal resolution this year to see if I can do it: –

  • Reading Goal: 50 books
  • Read at least 5 non-fiction books
  • No alcohol in 2019

Yep, you read that right! A lot of people are attempting dry January, but I’ve decided to step up the challenge. I can go a month without alcohol easily… I must do it at least six times a year without trying. Truth is, I’m not fussed. I only drink to be social. So, we’ll see just how much I miss it. I don’t think I will at all, but only time will tell.

As to my reading goals, I really ought to read more non-fiction. I last read a non-fiction book in November 2017 – over a year ago. Since I really like history, I expect that I’ll probably dip into this genre in order to complete the challenge. I’ll keep an open mind though. I have been known to read an autobiography or two in the past.

Last year I read 46 books, beating my target of 40 with about a month or so to spare. After I hit my target, I did lose a bit of motivation to read more. With that in mind, I have decided to increase my target to 50 books. The most I have read in one year is 60, however, I read 20 of those before my blog came into existence in April 2017. I don’t think that is achievable this year, but I’ll happily aim down the middle with 50.

So, which books am I going to read in January to get myself started on that goal? In previous months I haven’t set myself that many books to read in a bid to give myself more freedom. I’m not convinced it’s working though. January’s list is going to be a full one though because I have a number of blog tours coming up in the next couple of months.

 

The Road to Alexander – Jennifer Macaire

Goodreads – The Road to Alexander

This is a carryover from last year; I began reading this last month in an attempt to get ahead of myself. With personal matters the way they were, I’ve lost a lot of this advantage, but I’m still well on track to finishing this book in time for the tour mid this month.

 

Black Matter – G. D. Parker

Goodreads – Black Matter

I’m looking forward to reading this book as the synopsis sounds fantastic. I expect it will be a combination of a thrilling crime novel with a futuristic setting, which for me will be a shakeup on the books I normally read. I have read some brilliant crime novels recently, so I have high expectations for this one.

 

You Can’t Make Old Friends & Choose Your Parents Wisely – Tom Trott

Goodreads – You Can’t Make Old Friends

Goodreads – Choose Your Parents Wisely

You guessed it, another blog tour! This one isn’t until February, however, on that date I am reviewing three books in one post. I told you, I’m a very busy girl. This month I am going to read books one and two, with number three making an early appearance in next month’s list.

 

A Clash of Kings – George R. R. Martin

Goodreads – A Clash of Kings

I recently re-read A Game of Thrones, beginning my mission to re-read all of the books before watching the final season of the show, due to air this year! Can something not come around quick enough and too quickly at the same time? I am excited but also gutted that this will be the end. I’ll be that person who binges a season every so often once it’s over, I bet. A Clash of Kings is quite a long book, so I am going to have to get my skates on!

Those are the books I am reading this month! Is anyone else re-reading the A Song of Ice and Fire series this year? As always, I would love to hear from you!

Sunday Summary

Sunday Summary – 30th December 2018

This is the first Sunday Summary post for a couple of weeks; in fact, the FIRST POST in a couple of weeks! I’ve neglected my blog a little over the festive period and I’m sorry. I knew things would get a little tricky. The festive season is a time for family, of course. With my sister coming over for the holidays, I knew I’d be spending a lot of time out of my normal routine. But just as all this was about to start, something else happened.

Less than a week before Christmas, one of my work friends (close friends at that) sadly lost her husband. I don’t want to go into any particular detail here, because it isn’t my story to tell. As I am sure you can understand… she became another top priority for me. When I wasn’t spending time with the family, I was checking in on her. I am only telling you enough so you can understand my absence. I apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Have you all had a good Christmas? Aside from looking after my friend, I did! It was spent with my loved ones around me and I got some lovely presents too! Did you get anything nice, or anything bookish?

 

Books Read

As I have already explained, I haven’t had the time to blog at all in the past couple of weeks. I have, however, managed to squeeze in a bit of reading. Over the last couple of weeks I have been chipping away at The Cathedral of Known Things by Edward Cox, the second book in The Relic Guild series. Now my Goodreads marks me at 100% done on page 432, but I actually have 40 pages left in the edition I own. That’s tonight’s mission to complete.

 

I would have liked to have made progress on another couple of books as promised, but it hasn’t worked out as planned. One of those reads is The Road to Alexander by Jennifer Macaire. Unfortunately, I haven’t touched this in the past couple of weeks. There is a blog tour coming up really soon, so I am going to step up my game and get this read. I have also promised Shaun Hume that I would read Ewan Pendle and the Castle of Nightmares. This also has ended up on the backburner. I am really sorry I’m delayed in starting this – I’ll get on it.

 

I’ve also decided to put a couple of books that I have been struggling with aside – for now. The first of those books is The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan. Whilst I am enjoying the story of this book, it is just a bit too heavy going for me. With my other reading commitments the way they are, I am not going to be able to pick this book up for a while. Never say never, but I’m not sure if I’ll go back to finish this.

For the same reason I am also putting aside Season of Storms by Andrzej Sapkowski. I think that events are starting to pick up, but for a while I have felt that this book lacks the momentum of some of his other works. I have only read The Last Wish by way of comparison, which are shorter stories rather than one long one. Maybe that’s it. Either way, it’s not working for me right now. I WILL go back to this one, but I’ll have to play it by ear to see when.

 

Books Discovered

 

Well, aside from a cute notebook from Paperchase from my sister, I didn’t get anything bookish for Christmas. So, no new books on the list this week!

That’s honestly not a bad thing… I have enough!!!

 

Coming Up…

Given what has happened, I am glad I started some of my reading early. My time away hasn’t been too detrimental to my blog so far, but I have plenty of tours in the next couple of months that will keep me busy. If I want to catch up again, I am going to have to put time into it for the next couple of weeks.

What posts can you expect on my blog this week? Well, I cannot think of a better way to get back into the swing of things than a Reading List post! We are starting a brand new year (eek) and I’ll be beginning a new reading challenge. I haven’t decided how many books I want to read quite yet, but I’ll put my thinking cap on and let you know!

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing Copper Sky by Milana Marsenich. After doing so, Milana kindly offered me a copy of another book she has written, The Swan Keeper, for review. It took around six months, but I finally got around to reading this one in October. I am looking forward to finally committing my thoughts to a review.

 

So, what reading progress am I hoping to make? Shit loads. Fuck tons. I need a miracle to help me.

A lot.

As I mentioned above, I have a Blog Tour coming up for The Road to Alexander by Jennifer Macaire soon. I’m around half way through the book at the moment, but as I am posting my review in the next couple of weeks, I need to get reading this soon.

I also have another Blog Tour coming up at the end of the month… and in one of next month’s tours I am featuring three books in one post. I’m a busy woman! I’ll be giving you more details on these in my Reading List post in the coming days!

P.s. It’s good to be back!

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Summary

Sunday Summary – 16th December 2018

When I haven’t been at work or reading a book, I’ve spent a lot of this week preparing for Christmas! I’m officially on countdown! I love this time of year and I’m finally getting into the spirit!

On account of spending time wrapping presents and attending Christmas parties, I only managed one out of the two blog posts I promised you this week. Whilst it would have been nice to make some further progress in whittling down the TBR pile, I feel that posting my review of The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides was more important. I received an ARC back in July this year so my reading and reviewing this title was overdue. The book is published on the 7th February 2019 – I must insist you get a copy!

 

Books Read

 

I have been reading two books concurrently this week. Earlier in the week, I continued reading The Road to Alexander by Jennifer Macaire. When writing my Sunday Summary post last week I had higher hopes of making more progress with this book than I have. Instead, I ended up reading just over 40% a second book on December’s reading list. The Cathedral of Known Things is the second book by Edward Cox in The Relic Guild series. I totally love the magic system and the world-building, so putting this down has proven rather difficult.

 

Books Discovered

 

I have been really tame this week – I haven’t even added any books to the TBR! *And so I shouldn’t – it’s already out of control*

 

Coming Up…

 

down the tbr holeThis week I promised you a review of the TBR pile, which ultimately didn’t happen. I’m sorry; I don’t have any particular excuse. I just didn’t get around to it. However, I will this week – it’s the first post I am committing to.

 

 

 

The second post I want to publish this week is a review of Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett. I am absolutely in love with the Discworld and its various characters. At the time I read this book on a whim – you can’t really go wrong with that, can you? It’s just what I needed. I love Pratchett’s humour and writing style.

 

 

 

On the reading front, I am going to be bold and say that I want to have finished The Cathedral of Known Things by next week. If I get time to read any more than this, I’ll continue with The Road to Alexander.

 

Are you all set for Christmas? Have you planned to read any festive books for the season? I would love to hear from you in the comments!

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Book Review: The Silent Patient – Alex Michaelides

In July I received news that I was one of the few and fortunate to receive an early ARC of this AMAZING debut novel, courtesy of Orion Publishing. When this book is officially published on the 7th February 2019 (make a note of that date friends), I urge any fans of crime or psychological thriller novels… or frankly ANYONE to get a copy of this book!!

Why? I started reading The Silent Patient late one night on a whim. I finished reading it in less than 24 hours and I was swept away. Yep…it really is that good, folks!

 

Goodreads – The Silent Patient

 

Synopsis…

Promising to be the debut novel of the season The Silent Patient is a shocking psychological thriller of a woman’s act of violence against her husband—and of the therapist obsessed with uncovering her motive…

Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him…

 

My Thoughts…

I have always taken a keen interest in human Psychology. I was taught about the human brain and different types of therapy at school. It was one of the topics I enjoyed the most in my years of study. The reason I find psychological thrillers so entertaining is because I know just how unreliable the human brain is!

Alicia is an intriguing character. Basing a book around a character that refuses to speak is a difficult, but certainly not impossible, task. Despite her lack of verbal communication she has a strong presence throughout the novel. They say actions speak louder and words and this couldn’t be any truer in Alicia’s case. Even her silence has plenty to say when it wants to:

“Her silence was like a mirror – reflecting yourself back at you.
And it was often an ugly sight.”

Theo, the psychotherapist determined to break her silence, is just as complex. In fact, I would say he has a lot in common with Alicia. Both have had painful upbringings, have addictive personalities (different vices) etc. It really is like looking in a mirror.

As with all books of this genre I was trying to guess the ending, then second guessing my thoughts. The Silent Patient has a dramatic conclusion – one I didn’t even consider! I adored this book so much; I think that shows in the way I read it so quickly. It has been a long time since I have inhaled a book so fast. The Silent Patient is an entertaining, must-read psychological thriller!

 

Sunday Summary

Sunday Summary: 9th December 2018

Good evening everyone! Have you all had a lovely weekend? I can’t believe it’s Sunday evening already… doesn’t the time just fly by!

I’ve started drafting today’s post a little later than usual because I upgraded to the new WordPress editor. I had heard some bad things about it – it appeared a lot more functional than the previous editor. Haha… what a joke. What started out to be a not-so-bad experience turned horrendous. After about 45 minutes of trying to format my post in the new editor I cut my losses, downloaded the classic editor plugin and started again. It’s the best decision I (and 800,000 other users) have made.

So… what have I been up to this week? I had the pleasure of taking part in an exciting Blog Tour organised by Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources on Tuesday. Facing a Twisted Judgment by K. J. McGillick is a thrilling read. After a newlywed woman disappears along with artwork worth millions, her husband is suspect number one. As the evidence stacks up against him, we dig into the investigation through the eyes of Dalia.

On Thursday I wrote about my recent “more relaxed” approach to reading and how it is working out for me. I’ve decided to stick it out for another month and so I have committed which books I’ll be reading in my Reading List for December.

In between all this, as well as my reading, I have desperately been trying to catch up with watching I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! I love the show, but it is very full on. I might normally turn on the TV once a week or so – having to watch at least one episode every day to try to keep up (not even to catch up the week I was already behind) is tough going. Is anyone else watching it? What do you make of this year’s campmates?

 

Books Read

 

The number one priority at the beginning of this week was to finish reading Facing a Twisted Judgment. I’ll hold my hands up and say I left it too late to read it. I don’t like to cut it that fine, but I have been struggling with some other books lately which delayed starting this book. I had the book read by about 9:30pm the night before my tour post was due to go live, so I just went straight in for the review. If there is one positive that comes out of that, is that my thoughts and feelings were very fresh. I finished drafting that post gone 11pm that night… which was not so good for my sleeping pattern. It’s my own fault so I can’t complain.

With the pressure taken off me, I decided to pick up Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. Imagine a world in which the media is designed to only make you happy by indoctrination, emotionally detaching you from other people, war, tragedy etc. Can you imagine a world without books? Nope… me neither. I read this book in a matter of a few evenings just before bed. It is so easy to read and so poignant, I’m glad I picked it up; I’ve wanted to for such a long time!

The next read (and my current work in progress) is The Road to Alexander by Jennifer Macaire. Having learned my lesson with Facing A Twisted Judgment, I am starting this book early. I’m due to tour with it in the New Year – no one can suggest I won’t be prepared for this one! I’ve made a respectable start (17%) on this one considering I only picked it up on Friday night. I’ve had quite a busy weekend and so I’m looking forward to delving a bit further into this book next week!

 

Books Discovered

I have been very restrained this week in terms of book buying. Well, it is nearly Christmas after all! I have to leave some present ideas for people, right? I probably won’t get any books anyway – it’s only me that has the book-bug in this family.  That’s the whole reason I started this blog! If I don’t have an outlet to talk about it to, I might just burst!! Okay, slight exaggeration… I’d just bore a lot of uninterested people to death instead.

Instead, I have signed up for a number of blog tours coming up between January-March next year. Watch this space for news of those closer to the time!

 

Coming Up…

It has been a long while since I reviewed a book that hasn’t been part of a blog tour. I was going through a phase of being practically caught up on my reviews, but I have plenty of breathing room now. I initially read the book I‘ll be reviewing back in October. The Silent Patient is an ARC I have been sent for review and I really enjoyed it. Again, this was another book I read extremely quickly. If I had the willpower to forego sleep, I would have done so just to finish this book sooner!

 

 

 

down the tbr holeIt has been a couple of weeks since I published a Down the TBR Hole post, so I also plan to whittle down the TBR a little more next week. I have 188 books on the list – it really isn’t going down all that much! I think I am my own worst enemy…

 

In terms of reading progress, I want to finish The Road to Alexander. I am reading this well in advance but I have also made a few commitments in reading terms for next year, so I’ll thank myself for the head start in future.

In addition to this, I also want to start reading Ewan Pendle and the Castle of Nightmares by Shaun Hume. This is the second book of the series he is writing and he has kindly asked for a review. I really enjoyed the first book, Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith (fun fact –the first book I reviewed on request ever) so I can’t wait to give my feedback on this latest release!

 

That is how my week is shaping up… how about yours?

Reading List: December 2018

When I look back on last month’s approach to reading – only setting a couple of books to read, it is with mixed feelings.

I set myself the task of re-reading A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin and getting around to my last NetGalley ARC, The Mansions of Murder by Paul Doherty. Re-reading A Game of Thrones is no mean feat – it is over 850 pages in its own right! However, I didn’t finish reading any others. I am also 60% through I Don’t Know How She Does It by Allison Pearson, which is good. I wouldn’t describe this book as “my genre”, but it’s good to try something new. In addition to these two books, I also struggled through half of Season of Storms by Andrzej Sapkowski before setting it aside. For now, at least.

I think my reading (or lack thereof) was a result of “unfortunate events” – combine trying to read one epic book along with another that is completely not your genre at all. Add to that a book you REALLY want to love and can’t really bear to DNF (but have to) and it all ends up a pretty toxic mix. I was also away for a few days, so that knocks out the schedule too.

 

That said, it’s only the 6th December and I have read Facing A Twisted Judgment by K. J. McGillick and Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury already.

Perhaps I needed the break… or the start of a new month to breathe in some fresh air and start again. I’m not ready to write off the more relaxed approach yet. I just need to find the middle ground, is all. So, which books are going to make it onto the list for December?

 

The Road to Alexander – Jennifer Macaire

I am looking forward to reading this book in advance of the blog tour next month! The novel is based around time travel, with influences of Greek mythology. I’m not all that versed in Greek mythology I must admit, so I want to see how much influence it has in this book and whether it inspires me to read on further. The synopsis of the book makes it sound like a hilarious read too!

 

Ewan Pendle and the Castle of Nightmares – Shaun Hume

When I started my blog early last year, Shaun Hume was the first author to contact me for a review. Well, now he is back! The second book of the Ewan Pendle series has been released and he has asked if I will review the book for him. Obviously, the answer was yes! Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith is a refreshing read in a genre that I really enjoy. Now I get to find out the next step in his adventures!

 

The Cathedral of Known Things – Edward Cox

I fell in love with the fantasy world the Relic Guild series is based in earlier this year. I received copies of the series by Gollancz in exchange for a review and it’s time to delve into book 2. The storyline is intricate and detailed (without being too complicated) and the characters are adorable. I knew when I finished this book that I wouldn’t be able to wait for too long until picking up the next one.

 

So, those are just some of the books I am planning on reading this month! What is on your reading list?