February Wrap Up

The shortest month of the year has almost ended so time to look back at what I’ve managed to read this month. I seemed to have loads of time to read at the beginning of the month and was getting through books really quickly but then life got really busy over the last few days and I’ve hardly managed to read anything. It’s all averaged out to a reasonable month for reading though.

I read 16 books either from the library or bought to read on my kindle. I haven’t actually bought any physical books this month.

Stand out reads this month were:
Of Darkness and Light
The Night Singer
The Reading List
Something to Hide

No disappointing reads which was really nice.

I read 6 ARCs from Net Galley this month.

The stand out was Ylinka, where’s your huzband which I loved. Most disappointing were Justice of Kings and The Atlas Six which for me, didn’t live up to the hype.
My NetGalley review rating is currently at 82% which is OK but there are still way too many books on my shelf and I need to try and read more ARCs over the next month.

So that’s a total of 22 books in 28 days which doesn’t seem too bad.

How was February for you in terms of reading?

Sundays in bed with …….. A Fatal Crossing

Sundays in bed with is a meme hosted by Midnight Book Girl but I came across it recently on Jill’s Book Blog. It is simply a chance to share the book that is by your bed at the moment (or that you wish was by your bed). This week, the book is A Fatal Crossing by Tom Hindle.

I’ve had quite a fantasy heavy week this week but I’m currently back to a crime novel this weekend and it’s brilliant.

Blurb from the book cover:
November 1924. The Endeavour sets sail from Southampton carrying 2,000 passengers and crew on a week-long voyage to New York.

When an elderly gentleman is found dead at the foot of a staircase, ship’s officer Timothy Birch is ready to declare it a tragic accident. But James Temple, a strong-minded Scotland Yard inspector, is certain there is more to this misfortune than meets the eye.

Birch agrees to investigate, and the trail quickly leads to the theft of a priceless painting. Its very existence is known only to its owner . . . and the dead man.

With just days remaining until they reach New York, and even Temple’s purpose on board the Endeavour proving increasingly suspicious, Birch’s search for the culprit is fraught with danger.

And all the while, the passengers continue to roam the ship with a killer in their midst . . 

I love this book so far. The setting is brilliant and the character of the ship’s officer who is telling the story is interesting. He’s obvously still suffering the effects of WWI but there is also a mystery or tragedy concerning his wife and daughter which creates a good backstory for the murder investigation and art theft. I’m really looking forward to finding out how it all works out.

Stacking the Shelves 31

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It’s Saturday and the sun is shining. Welcome to the weekend and another Stacking the Shelves post. Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Marlene at Reading Reality and details are on her blog. The gorgeous graphic is also used courtesy of the site.

Stacking the Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

My STS posts are generally my library books. The library is where I get most of my books and I hope that maybe I can inspire other people to use their local library. Our libraries are constantly under threat of closure but the more people that use them, the less likely that is. My library is also how I manage to read a lot of newly released hardbacks as I can order them. Sometimes they can take quite a while to arrive if a title is really popular though.

This week I didn’t even bother to look at what was on the shelves as I had four books that I had reserved arrive since my last visit. That’s quite enough to keep me occupied for this week.

This week’s library haul

Look at the pretty blue/green colour coordination too. Completely accidental but very fitting for today’s lovely weather.

We were the Salt of the Sea by Roxanne Bouchard
I picked up Roxanne Bouchard’s second book about DS Joaquin Morales a few weeks ago and loved it. This is the first book set on the remote Gaspe Peninsula in Canada.

The Tenant by Katrine Engberg
This Nordic crime series was recommended by Elnade at Confessions of a Serial Reader and I’m hoping that it’s as good as others that I’ve read in this genre.

A Fatal Crossing by Tom Hindle
I requested this on NetGalley but wasn’t approved so I ordered it from the library instead. I’m glad as I think it will be much nicer to read the nice shiny hardback. A murder mystery set on an Atlantic liner in 1924. This book ticks so many boxes. I really hope it lives up to my expectations.

Islands of Abandonment by Cal Flyn
My next non fiction read. Abandoned places and ruins hold such a fascination for me that I had to read this when I saw it reviewed in a recent paper. It’s all about what happens to places like Chernobyl and parts of Detroit when the people leave and nature moves back in.

I’m really looking forward to reading all of these as well as ticking off another couple on my NetGalley shelf. I’m gradually working my way along my shelf however I have been approved for another 4 this week 😃. That might be the subject of next week’s STS post.

What have you added to your bookshelf this week?

Book Blogger Hop 25th February

 The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Jennifer @ Crazy-For-Books in March 2010 and ended on December 31, 2012. With Jennifer’s permission, it was relaunched on February 15, 2013 by Billy @ the Ramblings of a coffee addict. . Each week the hop will start on a Friday and end the following Thursday. There will be a weekly prompt featuring a book related question. The hop’s purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog. 

This weeks question is: – Do you acknowledge publication days for books you have read with a blog or social media post? (submitted by Elizabeth @ Silver’s Reviews)

Oooh, that’s interesting as it’s something I’ve never thought about doing. I know several bloggers who post blogs about upcoming releases, generally as a new month approaches , but it isn’t anything that I have ever done. I usually hold off posting reviews until quite close to publication date but I’ve never done a blog post specifcially about books being released. It’s definitely something that I might do in the future though.

M G Takes on Thursday

This brilliant meme belongs to to Book Craic who hosts it on her blog here . Each week the aim is to celebrate Middle Grade books, those amazing books being written for 9-12 year olds.

The idea is that you choose a book, post a picture of the cover and also show the publisher and illustrator. Then turn to page 11 and find your favourite sentence on that page. After that, describe the book in three words ( I always find this really hard) and finally, write your review or post a link to your review of the book. What could be easier especially as there are so many fabulous books being published at the moment?

I can’t believe that I haven’t posted a M G post since December last year. Now that I am only in the classroom part time, I don’t get to read so much MG fiction. I have read some brilliant books lately though so these posts will be a bit more frequent.

This week I’m celebrating The Last FireFox by Lee Newbery and illustrated by Laura Catalan

The Last Firefox Published by Puffin

Favourite sentence from page 11
You’re in Charlie’s garden, not he jungle Lippy. It’s not like you’re going to get abducted by an enemy tribe.

Ok, that’s two sentences but you get the idea.

This book in three words:

Family Friendship Magic

This is a brilliant story about friendship, family and a little bit of magic. I was hooked from the very first chapter which was absolutely hilarious and involves a very angry goose.

Charlie goes to a deserted castle to hide a stone and is handed a fox  cub to look after by a mysterious stranger. It’s not just any fox cub though, it is the last fire fox cub and it has an alarming habit of setting things on fire. Charlie tries to look after the cub, Cadno,  by himself but has to let his friends into the secret as the cub is being hunted.

The story has the perfect blend of adventure, magic and normal life. There is a lot going on in Charlie’s life at the moment as he is being bullied, he is about to leave primary school and his parents are thinking about adopting another child. All of these things arise normally out of the story together with the fact that Charlie has two Dads. It’s lovely to see a different family set up as well as a story set in Wales where the children are learning Welsh.

This is a lighthearted story with lots of humour and some laugh out loud moments. However, it also deals with big issues such as bullying and adoption. Charlie’s relationships with his friends and family shine through and the cub is simply adorable. The illustrations by Laura Catalan are great too. A fantastic read.

Thank you to Net Galley and the publishers, Puffin, for this ARC in exchange for my honest review. The book will be published on March 3rd 2022.

WWW Wednesday 23rd February

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It’s Wednesday again and what a week we’ve had! Three storm force weather systems crossing the country in 6 days is definitely unusual weather by anyone’s standards. Luckily, in the depths of the Midlands, we’ve been spared the worst of the weather and its effects. However, our trip to the east coast might not have been the best idea. The wind on the beach was so strong on Friday that it was hard to stand upright. It was still nice to be somewhere different though.

Wednesday means that it’s time for WWW Wednesday. This is one of my favourite memes and I love taking part in it and reading everybody else’s posts. It’s currently hosted by Sam and it can be found on her blog Taking on a world of words which can be found here.

The idea of WWW Wednesday is just to answer three questions about what you are reading, have just finished and are about to read so here goes for this week.

What I’m currently reading

I’ve only just started this which is the second in the fantasy series The Broken and The Bound. It has dragons, elves, dwarves and people. What more could I want? I really enjoyed the first book in the series and this one has started well so far.

What I have recently finished reading

Medicus by Ruth Downie is a murder mystery set in Roman Chester. I really enjoyed this book which was recommended by Sam, the host of WWW Wednesday. I will definitely be reading the rest of the series.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is a classic that I’ve somehow managed to miss up until now. I loved it and can’t believe that I haven’t read it until now. Atticus, Scout and Jem will stay in my memory for a long while.

The Liar’s Knot by M A Carrick is the second in The Rook and the Rose trilogy. I read the first one over New Year and loved it. There’s a lot of political intrigue and you have to pay attention to who everyone is but I love the characters of Ren and Grey and the world building is amazing.

Murder on the Menu by Fiona Leitch is the first in a cosy crime series featuring Jodie Parker, an ex police officer turned chef. I read A Cornish Christmas Murder as an ARC from Net Galley and enjoyed it so much that I went and bought the first one. The characters are interesting and there’s a lot of humour which always appeals.

What I am intending to read next

Sadly, I wasn’t approved to read the ARC of this last year so I ordered if from the library instead. I’m really looking forward to finally getting round to reading this one.

Picture Prompt Book Bingo

This gorgeous bingo card was created by Book Forager as a prompt for different books that you might read this year. See the post here for full details. I loved the individual pictures and straightaway, knew that I wanted to try and find books to match each prompt.

This is my completed bingo card so far.

The space ship immediately reminded me of the H G Wells biography by Clare Tomalin that I read last month.

The open book had to be The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams

The planet felt like it had to be a Science fiction novel so The Circus Infinite by Khan Wong was an obvious choice.

The witch picture reminded me of the witchiest novel I have read so far this year – Wild and Wicked Things by Francesca May

That’s as far as I’ve got in the first part of the year. I’ve an idea that the pictures might get harder as I get towards the end.

Thank you to Book Forager for a great challenge.

What books do these picture prompts remind you of?

Sundays in bed with …… The Liar’s Knot

This week, the book by my bed is actually by my bed rather than being on the arm of the sofa. We’re currently on the Norfolk coast and thanks to storm Eunice, I’ve had a bit more time for reading than I had planned to this weekend.

Sundays in bed with is a meme hosted by Midnight Book Girl but I came across it recently on Jill’s Book Blog. It is simply a chance to share the book that is by your bed at the moment (or that you wish was by your bed). This week, the book is The Liar’s Knot by M A Carrick.

Trust is the thread that binds us . . . and the rope that hangs us.

In Nadezra, peace is as tenuous as a single thread. The ruthless House Indestor has been destroyed, but darkness still weaves through the city’s filthy back alleys and jewel-bright gardens, seen by those who know where to look.

Derossi Vargo has always known. He has sacrificed more than anyone imagines to carve himself a position of power among the nobility, hiding a will of steel behind a velvet smile. He’ll be damned if he lets anyone threaten what he’s built.

Grey Serrado knows all too well. Bent under the yoke of too many burdens, he fights to protect the city’s most vulnerable. Sooner or later, that fight will demand more than he can give.

And Ren, daughter of no clan, knows best of all. Caught in a knot of lies, torn between her heritage and her aristocratic masquerade, she relies on her gift for reading pattern to survive. And it shows her the web of corruption that traps her city.

But all three have yet to discover just how far that web stretches. And in the end, it will take more than knives to cut themselves free..

This is the second in the Fantasy series, The Rook and the Rose and is as intricately plotted as the first book. There are a lot of characters and political alliances to keep up with but it is a fun read.

Book Blogger Hop February 18

 The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Jennifer @ Crazy-For-Books in March 2010 and ended on December 31, 2012. With Jennifer’s permission, it was relaunched on February 15, 2013 by Billy @ the Ramblings of a coffee addict. . Each week the hop will start on a Friday and end the following Thursday. There will be a weekly prompt featuring a book related question. The hop’s purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog. 

This weeks question is: – What genre do you refuse to read and why? (submitted by Cheryl @ I Heart Fictional People)

This one is fairly easy to answer. I’m quite squeamish and don’t like the sight of blood, it makes me feel faint, so anything with too much blood and gore is a definite no. That might sound strange as I love crime fiction. However, I’m perfectly OK with murder mysteries unless the descriptions are too graphic. I could never read Val McDermid’s books as the descriptions in those were just too much.

I don’t like being on the edge of my seat either so I tend not to read psychological thrillers or horror stories. I’m quite happy to read about battles and violence but I don’t want to be worrying about what’s about to come round the corner. This does mean that when everyone is sharing their favourite scary reads around Halloween, I don’t really have a lot to say 😲

Stacking the Shelves 30 – The Kindle Edition

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It’s Saturday so welcome to the weekend and another Stacking the Shelves post. Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Marlene at Reading Reality and details are on her blog. The gorgeous graphic is also used courtesy of the site.

We’re actually away from home at the moment as we booked a short break on the Norfolk Coast. When we booked it, obviously we had no idea that we would be here in the middle of a storm. It’s a bit blustery to put it mildly but still nice to be away and having lots of lovely food cooked by someone else.

Stacking the Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

My STS posts are generally my library books. However, as I’m not at home this weekend, I haven’t made my weekly library visit. So instead, I stocked up with books on my kindle to occupy my time while the rain pours down outside. Several of these are books that I have been recommended to read by other book bloggers so I’m hoping for good things.

As I was browsing, I noticed that several of the books that I wanted were on Kindle Unlimited so I’ve subscribed for a month and get to read these just for starters.

This week’s kindle additions

Of Darkness and Light by Ryan Cahill
This is the second book in the Bound and the Broken fantasy series. I loved the first book and I’m told that this one is even better. This series was recommended by Biblionerd

Of Honey and Wildfires by Sarah Chorn
I haven’t read anything by this author but when I saw Swordsmith’s review of the third book in the trilogy, I had to read it

Medicus by Ruth Downie
I love historical crime series and Sam, host of WWW Wednesday says this is a good one.

Buried in Secret by Viveca Sten
I really enjoy these murder mysteries set in the islands off the coast of Sweden and catch up the series whenever I have a kindle unlimited subscription.

Fool Me Twice by J M Dalgliesh
This is another series that I enjoy when I have kindle unlimited. One of the things I love about this series is that they are set on the Norfolk coast in the same area as we generally stay so i’m familiar with a lot of the locations used in the books.

So that’s what I’ve added to my book shelves this week. What do your book shelves look like at the moment?