Saturday, 31 December 2016

Review: Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell

Title: Kindred Spirits
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher:  Macmillan Children's Books
Pages: 96
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

'Everybody likes everything these days. The whole world is a nerd.'
'Are you mad because other people like Star Wars? Are you mad because people like me like Star Wars?'
'Maybe.'

If you broke Elena's heart, Star Wars would spill out. So when she decides to queue outside her local cinema to see the new movie, she's expecting a celebration with crowds of people who love Han, Luke and Leia just as much as she does.

What she's not expecting is to be last in a line of only three people; to have to pee into a collectible Star Wars soda cup behind a dumpster or to meet that unlikely someone who just might truly understand the way she feels.

Top Books of 2016

Friday, 30 December 2016

Review: Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli

Title: Seven Brief Lessons on Physics
Author: Carlo Rovelli
Translated By: Simon Carnell and Erica Segre
Publisher:  Penguin
Pages: 96
Genres: Non-Fiction, Science

Everything you need to know about modern physics, the universe and our place in the world in seven enlightening lessons.

'Here, on the edge of what we know, in contact with the ocean of the unknown, shines the mystery and the beauty of the world. And it's breathtaking.'

These seven short lessons guide us, with simplicity and clarity, through the scientific revolution that shook physics in the twentieth century and still continues to shake us today. In this mind-bending introduction to modern physics, Carlo Rovelli explains Einstein's theory of general relativity, quantum mechanics, black holes, the complex architecture of the universe, elementary particles, gravity, and the nature of the mind.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Review: Looking for Alaska by John Green

Title: Looking for Alaska
Author: John Green
Publisher:  HarperCollins
Pages: 272
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

If people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.

Miles Halter’s whole life has been one big non-event, until he meets Alaska Young.

Gorgeous, clever and undoubtedly screwed-up, Alaska draws Miles into her reckless world and irrevocably steals his heart. For Miles, nothing can ever be the same again.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Review: An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon

Title: An Echo in the Bone
Series: Outlander #7
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Publisher: Orion
Pages: 1104
Genres: Historical Fantasy, Time-Travel

The year is 1777. The place, North Carolina. And as the American rebellion grows in intensity, Highlander Jamie Fraser and his wife Claire need to decide which side their family is going to be on.

It's 1772, the Royal Colony of North Carolina, and the governor calls upon Jamie Fraser to unite the backcountry and preserve the colony for King and Crown.

The choice should be an easy one, given that Claire was born in the twentieth century and has already seen the future - in history books. But things are never simple where the Frasers are concerned, as father and son unwittingly come face to face on the battlefield, and an old adversary reaches forward in time to threaten the next generation.

Up to now, Claire and Jamie's love has survived every danger history has put in their path, but in the chaos of war, with families bitterly divided against each other, is the future finally going to catch up with them?

Friday, 9 December 2016

Review: The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer

Title: The Grand Sophy
Author: Georgette Heyer
Publisher:  Arrow
Pages: 336
Genres: Regency Romance

When the redoubtable Sir Horace Stanton-Lacy is ordered to South America on Diplomatic Business he parks his only daughter Sophy with his sister's family, the Ombersleys, in Berkeley Square.

Upon her arrival, Sophy is bemused to see her cousins are in a sad tangle. The heartless and tyrannical Charles is betrothed to a pedantic bluestocking almost as tiresome as himself; Cecilia is besotted with a beautiful but quite feather-brained poet; and Hubert has fallen foul of a money-lender.

It looks like the Grand Sophy has arrived just in time to sort them out, but she hasn't reckoned with Charles, the Ombersleys' heir, who has only one thought - to marry her off and rid the family of her meddlesome ways.

November 2016 - Reading Wrap-Up

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Review: Blankets by Craig Thompson

Title: Blankets
Author: Craig Thompson
Publisher: Top Shelf Productions
Pages: 592
Genres: Graphic Novel, Memoir
Wrapped in the landscape of a blustery Wisconsin winter, Blankets explores the sibling rivalry of two brothers growing up in the isolated country, and the budding romance of two coming-of-age lovers. A tale of security and discovery, of playfulness and tragedy, of a fall from grace and the origins of faith.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Review: Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

Title: Milk and Honey
Illustrator: Rupi Kaur
Publisher:  Andrews McMeel Publishing
Pages: 208
Genres: Poetry
Source: Review copy from Socialbookco

Milk and Honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. About the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity.

The book is divided into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose. Deals with a different pain. Heals a different heartache. Milk and Honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Review: The Fairy Tales by Jan Pieńkowski

Title: The Fairy Tales
Illustrator: Jan Pieńkowski
Translated by: David Walser
Publisher:  Viking Press
Pages: 186
Genres: Children's, Fairy-tales

Enter an enchanted world where dashing princes rescue beautiful princesses, where wicked stepmothers do battle with good fairies, and where romance, danger and excitement captivate the reader.

This glorious collection of four of the most beloved of European fairytales will weave its spell on you. Faithfully translated from the original French and German, each tale remains true.

Review: The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

Title: The Wonder
Author: Emma Donoghue
Publisher:  Picador
Pages: 291
Genres: Historical Fiction

An eleven-year-old girl stops eating, but remains miraculously alive and well. A nurse, sent to investigate whether she is a fraud, meets a journalist hungry for a story.

Set in the Irish Midlands in the 1850s, Emma Donoghue's The Wonder - inspired by numerous European and North American cases of 'fasting girls' between the sixteenth century and the twentieth - is a psychological thriller about a child's murder threatening to happen in slow motion before our eyes. Pitting all the seductions of fundamentalism against sense and love, it is a searing examination of what nourishes us, body and soul.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Review: Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller

Title: Our Endless Numbered Days
Author: Claire Fuller
Publisher:  Fig Tree
Pages: 304
Genres: Literary Fiction

1976: Peggy Hillcoat is eight. She spends her summer camping with her father, playing her beloved record of The Railway Children and listening to her mother's grand piano, but her pretty life is about to change.

Her survivalist father, who has been stockpiling provisions for the end which is surely coming soon, takes her from London to a cabin in a remote European forest. There he tells Peggy the rest of the world has disappeared.

Her life is reduced to a piano which makes music but no sound, a forest where all that grows is a means of survival. And a tiny wooden hut that is Everything.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Review: Kissing the Witch by Emma Donoghue

Title: Kissing the Witch
Author: Emma Donoghue
Publisher:  Picador
Pages: 228
Genres: Short Story Collection

In Kissing the Witch, Emma Donoghue  unwinds thirteen fairy tales and writes them anew: Cinderella forsakes the handsome prince and runs off with the fairy godmother, Beauty discovers the Beast behind the mask is not so very different from the face she sees in the mirror, and Snow White is awakened from slumber by the bittersweet fruit of an unnamed desire.

In these stories, Emma Donoghue reveals heroines young and old in unexpected alliances - sometimes treacherous, sometimes erotic, but always courageous. Told with luminous voices that shimmer with sensuality and truth, these age-old characters shed their antiquated cloaks to travel a seductive new landscape, radiantly transformed.

Friday, 11 November 2016

Review: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Siege and Storm
Series: The Grisha #2
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher:  Orion Children's Books
Pages: 416
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Darkness never dies. Alina and Mal are on the run - but they can't run for ever...

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and he needs Alina to realise his dangerous plan. Somehow, she must choose between her country, her power, and her love - or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

Monday, 7 November 2016

Review: Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Title: Gemina
Series: The Illuminae Files #2
Author: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Publisher: Rock the Boat
Pages: 672
Genres: Young Adult, Science-Fiction



Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Shadow and Bone
Series: The Grisha #1
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher:  Orion Children's Books
Pages: 352
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom's magical elite - the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?

The Darkling is a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfil her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

But what of Mal, Alina's childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can't she ever quite forget him?

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Review: The Devil of Nanking by Mo Hayder

Title: The Devil of Nanking
Author: Mo Hayder
Publisher:  Grove Press
Pages: 363
Genres: Thriller, Suspense, Horror

Grey has a lot to prove and even more to hide. A young Englishwoman obsessed with a past she cannot understand, she comes to Tokyo seeking a rare piece of film footage that has been lost for decades, showing a specific horrifying incident during the notorious 1937 Nanking Massacre. Some say the film never existed. Only one man can help Grey. A survivor of the massacre, he is now a visiting professor at the university of Todai in Tokyo. Immersed in his textbooks and wary of strangers, he will at first have nothing to do with her.

When Grey accepts a job as a hostess in an upscale nightclub catering to Japanese businessmen and wealthy yakuza, she meets a certain gangster who may be the key to her quest—an old man in a wheelchair surrounded by a terrifying entourage, rumored to rely on a mysterious elixir for his continued health. As the professor pressures Grey to find out more about the elixir, Grey’s housemate, a handsome, laconic American dilettante, becomes unnervingly fascinated with her and the troubling past that she has kept concealed from everyone else. Grey is faced with the serious dangers of charming her way into a circle of gangsters, master manipulators, and possible murderers. It’s a devil’s bargain—but who, really, is the Devil of Nanking?

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Review: The Twelve by Justin Cronin

Title: The Twelve
Series: The Passage Trilogy #2
Author: Justin Cronin
Publisher:  Orion Publishing
Pages: 752
Genres: Post-apocalyptic fiction, Science Fiction, Horror


THE TWELVE

Death-row prisoners with nightmare pasts and no future.

THE TWELVE

Until they were selected for a secret experiment.

THE TWELVE

To create something more than human.

THE TWELVE

Now they are the future and humanity's worst nightmare has begun.

THE TWELVE

The epic sequel to

THE PASSAGE

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Review: The Passage by Justin Cronin

Title: The Passage
Series: The Passage Trilogy #1
Author: Justin Cronin
Publisher:  Orion Publishing
Pages: 1008
Genres: Post-apocalyptic fiction, Science Fiction, Horror


Amy Harper Bellafonte is six years old and her mother thinks she's the most important person in the whole world.
She is.

Anthony Carter doesn't think he could ever be in a worse place than Death Row.
He's wrong.

FBI agent Brad Wolgast thinks something beyond imagination is coming.
It is.

THE PASSAGE.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Review: The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

Title: The Couple Next Door
Author: Shari Lapena
Publisher:  Bantam Press
Pages: 304
Genres: Psychological Thriller


You never know what's happening on the other side of the wall.

Your neighbour told you that she didn't want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party. Nothing personal, she just couldn't stand her crying.

Your husband said it would be fine. After all, you only live next door. You'll have the baby monitor and you'll take it in turns to go back every half hour.

Your daughter was sleeping when you checked on her last. But now, as you race up the stairs in your deathly quiet house, your worst fears are realized. She's gone.

You've never had to call the police before. But now they're in your home, and who knows what they'll find there.

What would you be capable of, when pushed past your limit?

Friday, 7 October 2016

Review: The Beauty by Aliya Whiteley

Title: The Beauty
Author: Aliya Whiteley
Publisher:  Unsung Stories
Pages: 112
Genres: Horror


Somewhere away from the cities and towns, a group of men and boys gather around the fire each night to listen to their stories in the Valley of the Rocks. For when the women are all gone the rest of your life is all there is for everyone. The men are waiting to pass into the night.

The story shall be told to preserve the past. History has gone back to its aural roots and the power of words is strong. Meet Nate, the storyteller, and the new secrets he brings back from the woods. William rules the group with youth and strength, but how long can that last? And what about Uncle Ted, who spends so much time out in the woods?

Hear the tales, watch a myth be formed. For what can man hope to achieve in a world without women? When the past is only grief how long should you hold on to it? What secrets can the forest offer to change it all?

Discover the Beauty.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Review: The Beauty, Vol. 1 by Jeremy Haun & Jason A. Hurley

Title: The Beauty, Vol. 1
Series: The Beauty (Collected Editions) #1
Written By: Jeremy Haun & Jason A. Hurley
Art by: Jeremy Haun
Publisher: Image
Pages: 164
Genres: Comics, Thriller, Police-procedural

Imagine a sexually transmitted disease that makes those infected better looking... a disease people want. That disease is real, and it’s called the Beauty. Two years after the Beauty burst onto the scene, over half of America is infected. Now, it looks like the downside may be far worse than anyone suspected. Detectives Vaughn and Foster find themselves on the front line of the battle against the Beauty, embroiled in a conspiracy they never knew existed. Collects THE BEAUTY #1-6.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Review: The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

Title: The Woman in Black
Author: Susan Hill
Publisher:  Vintage Classics
Pages: 208
Genres: Horror
Proud and solitary, Eel Marsh House surveys the windswept reaches of the salt marshes beyond Nine Lives Causeway. Arthur Kipps, a junior solicitor, is summoned to attend the funeral of Mrs Alice Drablow, the house's sole inhabitant, unaware of the tragic secrets which lie hidden behind the shuttered windows. It is not until he glimpses a pale young woman, dressed all in black, at the funeral, that a creeping sense of unease begins to take hold, a feeling deepened by the reluctance of the locals to talk of the woman in black - and her terrible purpose.

Review: Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Title: Bird Box
Author: Josh Malerman
Publisher:  HarperCollins UK
Pages: 480
Genres: Horror, Psychological Thriller

Most people dismissed the reports on the news. But they became too frequent; they became too real. And soon it was happening to people we knew.

Then the Internet died. The televisions and radios went silent. The phones stopped ringing.

And we couldn’t look outside anymore.

September 2016 - Reading Wrap-up: Part 2
















Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Review: Underwater by Marisa Reichardt

Title: Underwater
Author: Marisa Reichardt
Publisher:  Macmillan
Pages: 288
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary

“Forgiving you will allow me to forgive myself.”

Morgan didn’t mean to do anything wrong that day. Actually, she meant to do something right. But her kind act inadvertently played a role in a deadly tragedy. In order to move on, Morgan must learn to forgive—first someone who did something that might be unforgivable, and then herself.

But Morgan can’t move on. She can’t even move beyond the front door of the apartment she shares with her mother and little brother. Morgan feels like she’s underwater, unable to surface. Unable to see her friends. Unable to go to school.

When it seems Morgan can’t hold her breath any longer, a new boy moves in next door. Evan reminds her of the salty ocean air and the rush she used to get from swimming. He might be just what she needs to help her reconnect with the world outside.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Review: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Title: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Series: Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #1
Author: Ransom Riggs
Publisher: Quirk Books
Pages: 352
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. And a strange collection of very curious photographs.

It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children who once lived here—one of whom was his own grandfather— were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a desolate island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Review: It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

Title: It Ends With Us
Author: Colleen Hoover
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Pages: 352
Genres: Romance, New Adult
SOMETIMES THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU IS THE ONE WHO HURTS YOU THE MOST.

Lily hasn't always had it easy, but that's never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She's come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up – she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily's life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He's also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle's complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan – her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened...

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Review: Sins & Needles by Karina Halle

Title: Sins & Needles
Series: The Artists Trilogy #1
Author: Karina Halle
Publisher: Headline Eternal
Pages: 338
Genres: Romance, Suspense

Ellie Watt is used to starting over. The daughter of a grifting team, Ellie spent her childhood being used as a pawn in her parents' latest scam. Now she's much older, wiser and ready to give her con artist life a rest. But returning to the dry desert town of Palm Valley, California means one more temptation than she bargained for - Camden McQueen.

Once known as the high school weirdo, Camden is bigger and badder than the boy he used to be and a talented tattoo artist with his own thriving business. Ellie's counting on Camden still being in love with her but what she's not counting on is how easily unrequited love can turn into obsession over time. When Camden discovers Ellie's plan to con him, he makes her a deal she doesn't dare refuse, but her freedom comes with a price and it's one that takes both Ellie and Camden down a dangerous road.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Review: Mariana by Monica Dickens

Title: Mariana
Author: Monica Dickens
Publisher: Persephone Books
Pages: 400
Genres: Classics

Mariana
Monica Dickens's first book, published in 1940, could easily have been called Mariana - an Englishwoman. For that is what it is: the story of a young English girl's growth towards maturity in the 1930s. We see Mary at school in Kensington and on holiday in Somerset; her attempt at drama school; her year in Paris learning dressmaking and getting engaged to the wrong man; her time as a secretary and companion; and her romance with Sam. We chose this book because we wanted to publish a novel like Dusty Answer, I Capture the Castle or The Pursuit of Love, about a girl encountering life and love, which is also funny, readable and perceptive; it is a 'hot-water bottle' novel, one to curl up with on the sofa on a wet Sunday afternoon.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Review: So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson

Title: So You've Been Publicly Shamed
Author: Jon Ronson
Publisher: Picador
Pages: 306
Genres: Non-fiction

So You've Been Publicly Shamed

'It's about the terror, isn't it?'
'The terror of what?' I said.

'The terror of being found out.'


For the past three years, Jon Ronson has travelled the world meeting recipients of high-profile public shamings. The shamed are people like us – people who, say, made a joke on social media that came out badly, or made a mistake at work. Once their transgression is revealed, collective outrage circles with the force of a hurricane and the next thing they know they're being torn apart by an angry mob, jeered at, demonized, sometimes even fired from their job.

A great renaissance of public shaming is sweeping our land. Justice has been democratized. The silent majority are getting a voice. But what are we doing with our voice? We are mercilessly finding people's faults. We are defining the boundaries of normality by ruining the lives of those outside it. We are using shame as a form of social control.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Review: All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Byrn Greenwood

Title: All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
Author: Byrn Greenwood
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Pages: 352
Genres: Literary Fiction, Romance

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
A beautiful and provocative love story between two unlikely people and the hard-won relationship that elevates them above the Midwestern meth lab backdrop of their lives.

As the daughter of a drug dealer, Wavy knows not to trust people, not even her own parents. It's safer to keep her mouth shut and stay out of sight. Struggling to raise her little brother, Donal, eight-year-old Wavy is the only responsible adult around. Obsessed with the constellations, she finds peace in the starry night sky above the fields behind her house, until one night her star gazing causes an accident. After witnessing his motorcycle wreck, she forms an unusual friendship with one of her father's thugs, Kellen, a tattooed ex-con with a heart of gold.

By the time Wavy is a teenager, her relationship with Kellen is the only tender thing in a brutal world of addicts and debauchery. When tragedy rips Wavy's family apart, a well-meaning aunt steps in, and what is beautiful to Wavy looks ugly under the scrutiny of the outside world. A powerful novel you won t soon forget, Bryn Greenwood's All the Ugly and Wonderful Things challenges all we know and believe about love.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Review: I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

Title: I've Got Your Number
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Publisher: Bantam
Pages: 381
Genres: Romance, Contemporary

I've Got Your Number
I've lost it. The only thing in the world I wasn't supposed to lose. My engagement ring. It's been in Magnus's family for three generations. And now, the very same day his parents are coming, I've lost it. The very same day. Do not hyperventilate Poppy. Stay positive!!

Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier. She is about to marry the ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her 'happy ever after' begins to fall apart. Not only has she lost her engagement ring but in the panic that followed, she has now lost her phone. As she paces shakily round the hotel foyer she spots an abandoned phone in a bin. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number for the hotel to contact her when they find her ring. Perfect!

Well, perfect except the phone's owner, businessman Sam Roxton doesn't agree. He wants his phone back and doesn't appreciate Poppy reading all his messages and wading into his personal life.

What ensues is a hilarious and unpredictable turn of events as Poppy and Sam increasingly upend each other's lives through emails and text messages. As Poppy juggles wedding preparations, mysterious phone calls and hiding her left hand from Magnus and his parents... she soon realises that she is in for the biggest surprise of her life.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Review: The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim

Title: The Enchanted April
Author: Elizabeth Von Arnim
Publisher: Vintage Classics
Pages: 304
Genres: Classics

The Enchanted April
Mrs Wilkins and Mrs Arbuthnot, cowed and neglected by their respective husbands, make a daring plan: they will have a holiday. Leaving a drab and rainy London one April and arriving on the shores of the Mediterranean, they discover a flower-filled paradise of beauty, warmth and leisure. Joined by the beautiful Lady Caroline and domineering Mrs Fisher, also in flight from the burdens of their daily lives, the four women proceed to transform themselves and their prospects.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Review: Angel Killer by Deborah Blum

Title: Angel Killer
Author: Deborah Blum
Publisher: The Atavist
Pages: 39
Genres: Non-fiction, Narrative, True Crime

Angel Killer
In the mid-1920s, young children began to vanish from neighborhoods around New York City. It took the police a decade to find their abductor, an unassuming 64-year-old handyman named Albert Fish. Fish had committed crimes of unspeakable horror: He had not only abducted and murdered the children, but also tortured and, in some cases, eaten them. During Fish's trial, some of the country's most prominent psychiatrists debated the exact nature of Fish's crimes. Was he evil or insane? Who had the power to determine where one ended and the other began? At stake was not just the prospect of justice for Fish and his victims, but also the future of the new science of criminal behavior—the idea that society’s worst monsters needed to be both punished and understood. Award-winning journalist Deborah Blum tells the story of a notorious cannibal killer, the detective who brought him to justice, and the scientists who tried to make sense of his crimes.

Review: You by Caroline Kepnes

Title: You
Series: You #1
Author: Caroline Kepnes
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 432
Genres: Thriller, Suspense

You
When aspiring writer Guinevere Beck strides into the bookstore where Joe works he is instantly smitten. Beck is everything Joe has ever wanted: tough, razor-smart and sexier than his wildest dreams. He'd kill to have her.

Soon Beck can't resist her feelings for a guy who seems custom made for her. When a string of macabre incidents tears her world apart there is only one person she can turn to. But there's more to Joe than Beck realises and much more to Beck than her perfect facade. The obsessive relationship quickly spirals into a whirlwind of deadly consequences...

Monday, 5 September 2016

August 2016 - Reading Wrap Up

Review: Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

Title: Rebecca
Author: Daphne Du Maurier
Publisher: Virago
Pages: 432
Genres: Classics

Rebecca
On a trip to the South of France, the shy heroine of Rebecca falls in love with Maxim de Winter, a handsome widower. Although his proposal comes as a surprise, she happily agrees to marry him. But as they arrive at her husband's home, Manderley, a change comes over Maxim, and the young bride is filled with dread. Friendless in the isolated mansion, she realises that she barely knows him. In every corner of every room is the phantom of his beautiful first wife, Rebecca, and the new Mrs de Winter walks in her shadow.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Review: Lover Awakened by J. R. Ward

Title: Lover Awakened
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #3
Author: J. R. Ward
Publisher: Piatkus
Pages: 544
Genres: Paranormal Romance

Lover Awakened

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly war raging between vampires and their slayers. And there exists a secret band of brothers like no other - six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Of these, Zsadist is the most terrifying member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

A former blood slave, the vampire Zsadist still bears the scars from a past filled with suffering and humiliation. Renowned for his unquenchable fury and sinister deeds, he is a savage feared by humans and vampires alike. Anger is his only companion, and terror is his only passion - until he rescues a beautiful aristocrat from the evil Lessening Society.

Bella is instantly entranced by the seething power Zsadist possesses. But even as their desire for one another begins to overtake them both, Zsadist's thirst for vengeance against Bella's tormentors drives him to the brink of madness. Now, Bella must help her lover overcome the wounds of his tortured past, and find a future with her.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Review: The Mauricewood Devils by Dorothy Alexander

Title: The Mauricewood Devils
Author: Dorothy Alexander
Publisher: Freight Books
Pages: 225
Genres: Historical Fiction

The Mauricewood Devils
The year is 1889. When a fire tears through the Mauricewood coal pit there is no escape. Of sixty-five men working, only two survive. Many of the bodies will not be recovered for months.

Martha and her sister have lived with their granny since their mother died, but she is not kind. The death of their father in the Disaster means an end to any chance of a better life. For Martha’s stepmother, Jess, the wait for a body to bury, and the struggle to deal with a loss that is both collective and private, is agonizing.

With many of the miners families left destitute, the women of Mauricewood undertake a campaign for compensation and justice against the criminally negligent pit owners.

Martha and Jess’s stories lie at the heart of this elegy to the closeknit communities of the pit villages in a gripping tribute to resilience and courage in the face of utter catastrophe, based on true events, original source material and Alexander’s own family history.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Review: How Not To Disappear by Clare Furniss

Title: How Not To Disappear
Author: Clare Furniss
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Pages: 416
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

How Not To Disappear
Our memories are what make us who we are. Some are real. Some are made up. But they are the stories that tell us who we are. Without them we are nobody.

Hattie's summer isn't going as planned. Her two best friends have abandoned her: Reuben has run off to Europe to 'find himself" and Kat is in Edinburgh with her new girlfriend. Meanwhile Hattie is stuck babysitting her twin siblings and dealing with endless drama around her mum's wedding. Oh, and she's also just discovered that she's pregnant with Reuben's baby…Then Gloria, Hattie's great-aunt who no one even knew existed, comes crashing into her life. Gloria's fiercely independent, rather too fond of a gin sling and is in the early stages of dementia. Together the two of them set out on a road trip of self-discovery - Gloria to finally confront the secrets of her past before they are erased from her memory forever and Hattie to face the hard choices that will determine her future…...

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Review: Lover Eternal by J. R. Ward

Title: Lover Eternal
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #2
Author: J. R. Ward
Publisher: Piatkus
Pages: 480
Genres: Paranormal Romance

Lover Eternal

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly war raging between vampires and their slayers. And there exists a secret band of brothers like no other - six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Possessed by a deadly beast, Rhage is the most dangerous of the Black Dagger Brotherhood...

Within the brotherhood, Rhage is the vampire with the strongest appetites. He's the best fighter, the quickest to act on his impulses, and the most voracious lover - for inside him burns a ferocious curse cast by the Scribe Virgin. Possessed by this dark side, Rhage fears the times when his inner dragon is unleashed, making him a danger to everyone around him. Mary Luce, a survivor of many hardships, is unwittingly thrown into the vampire world and reliant on Rhage's protection. With a life-threatening curse of her own, Mary is not looking for love. Her faith in miracles was lost years ago. But when Rhage's intense animal attraction turns into something more emotional, he knows that he must make Mary his alone. And while their enemies close in, Mary fights desperately to gain life eternal with the one she loves.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Review: Dark Lover by J. R. Ward

Title: Dark Lover
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #1
Author: J. R. Ward
Publisher: Piatkus
Pages: 480
Genres: Paranormal Romance

Dark Lover

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There also exists a secret band of brothers like no other - six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Among them, none relishes killing their enemies more than Wrath, the leader of the Black Dagger Brotherhood...

The only pure-bred vampire left on the planet, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who murdered his parents centuries ago. But when one of his most trusted fighters is killed - orphaning a half-breed daughter unaware of her heritage or her fate - Wrath must usher the beautiful female into the world of the undead...

Racked by a restlessness in her body that wasn't there before, Beth Randall is helpless against the dangerously sexy man who comes to her at night with shadows in his eyes. His tales of brotherhood and blood frighten her. But his touch ignites a dawning hunger that threatens to consume them both...

Friday, 26 August 2016

Review: The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson

Title: The Psychopath Test
Author: Jon Ronson
Publisher: Picador
Pages: 304
Genres: Non-fiction

The Psychopath Test
What if society wasn’t fundamentally rational, but was motivated by insanity? This thought sets Jon Ronson on an utterly compelling adventure into the world of madness.

Along the way, Jon meets psychopaths, those whose lives have been touched by madness and those whose job it is to diagnose it, including the influential psychologist who developed the Psychopath Test, from whom Jon learns the art of psychopath-spotting. A skill which seemingly reveals that madness could indeed be at the heart of everything...

Monday, 22 August 2016

Review: The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith

Title: The Silkworm
Series: Cormoran Strike #2
Author: Robert Galbraith
Publisher: Sphere
Pages: 580
Genres: Mystery, General

The Silkworm

When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, she just thinks he has gone off by himself for a few days - as he has done before - and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.

But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realises. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were published it would ruin lives - so there are a lot of people who might want to silence him.

And when Quine is found brutally murdered in bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any he has encountered before . . .

Friday, 19 August 2016

Review: Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

Title: Tuck Everlasting
Author: Natalie Babbitt
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Pages: 144
Genres: Childrens, Classics

Tuck Everlasting
Doomed to - or blessed with - eternal life after drinking from a magic spring, the Tuck family wanders about trying to live as inconspicuously and comfortably as they can. When ten year old Winnie Foster stumbles on their secret, the Tucks kidnap her and explain why living forever at one age is less than a blessing that it might seem.

Review: The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

Title: The Snow Child
Author: Eowyn Ivey
Publisher: Tinder Press
Pages: 448
Genres: Fabulist

The Snow Child
Alaska, the 1920s. Jack and Mabel have staked everything on a fresh start in a remote homestead, but the wilderness is a stark place, and Mabel is haunted by the baby she lost many years before. When a little girl appears mysteriously on their land, each is filled with wonder, but also foreboding: is she what she seems, and can they find room in their hearts for her?