Stacking the Shelves 62

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It’s Saturday so it’s time for my weekly 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. I’m a great supporter of libraries, mainly because I could never afford to buy all the books that I want to read, and visit mine every week whenever possible. I love the fact that I can look at the online catalogue and request books to borrow. This is great for books that are recommended to me by different bookbloggers. It works much better for crime and mystery stories rather than fantasy though. For some reason, Leicestershire readers don’t borrow fantasy books so not many of them are purchased by the library system. It’s also great for finding books in bookshops that I might like. Getting a book from the library means that I don’t need to worry about wasting my money if I don’t like it!

This was another week of only having one reservation arrive so I had some time to wander around the library and browse which is always fun. I did have a library book passed onto me from my mum though as we often share our library books so I have my usual 4 books.

Blackstone Fell by Martin EdwardsCarrie Hope Fletcher
This was passed to me by my mum earlier this week and so I have already read it. Ir is the third in the Rachel Savernake series set in 1920s. I always enjoy Martin Edwards mysteries and this one was just as good as normal. I loved the ending where the murderer was unveiled during a seance.

The Malice of Waves by Mark Douglas Home
This the third in a series but I’ve never seen any of them before. Investigator Cal McGill is the Sea Detective who uses his knowledge of the sea to solve mysteries that no-one else can. I love mysteries set by the sea so this sounds good.

The Truants by Kate Weinberg
This is a debut novel about a Jess, a middle child who is good at becoming invisible or overlooked. Then she goes to university and reinvents herself with a new group of friends. Tragedy ensues.

A Man called Ove by Fredrik Backman
I remember seeing loads of reviews for this a while ago and then I saw Wendy’s audio review on The Bashful Bookworm so I decided that it was time I read it.

That’s what I’ve added to my shelves this week and I am so looking forward to reading all of them. I’ve also still got Helgoland – The story of quantum physics to read!

What’s been added to your bookshelves this week?

I’ve been neglecting my blog a bit lately and posting has become a bit sporadic. To try and bring it back to life a bit, I’ve decided to take part in Blogtober 22 so I’m going to try and post every day for a month. They might not all be bookish posts as I might mix it up a bit.

Stacking the Shelves 61

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It’s Saturday so it’s time for my weekly 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. I’m a great supporter of libraries, mainly because I could never afford to buy all the books that I want to read, and visit mine every week whenever possible. I love the fact that I can look at the online catalogue and request books to borrow. This is great for books that are recommended to me by different bookbloggers. It works much better for crime and mystery stories rather than fantasy though. For some reason, Leicestershire readers don’t borrow fantasy books so not many of them are purchased by the library system. It’s also great for finding books in bookshops that I might like. Getting a book from the library means that I don’t need to worry about wasting my money if I don’t like it!

After last week’s bumper collection of books I’m back to my usual 4 today. I had two reservations come in so my other two books are ones that I picked up as I meandered around the shelves.

When the Curtain Falls by Carrie Hope Fletcher
I’ve seen Carrie perform on stage but never read any of her books before. This is set in a theatre in 1952 and 2022 and the plot for the 1952 story line sounds a bit Phantom of the Opera-ish so hopefully will be a good read

The Rising Tide by Ann Cleeves
This was one of my reserved books and is the long awaited next episode in Ann Cleeves’ Vera series. This one is set on the holy island of Lindisfarne which is place that I love and has to be a great setting for a murder mystery as it is so atmospheric.

Vengeance in Venice by Philip Gwynne Jones
I’m continuing my read through this series set in Venice. I really enjoyed the last one so I’m looking forward to reading this one.

The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner
This was another random pick off the shelf. It’s a historical fiction book set in San Francisco just before the devastating earthquake of 1908. It’s about three different women who become involved in each others’ lives. I love stories about friendship so I’m looking forward to this one.

That’s what I’ve added to my shelves this week and I am so looking forward to reading all of them. I’ve also still got Helgoland – The story of quantum physics to read!

What’s been added to your bookshelves this week?

Stacking the Shelves 60

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It’s Saturday again Summer has definitely ended. The temperature was 8 degrees C when I left the house this morning. Very chilly!!! It’s gloriously sunny now but the air has that nip in it that lets you know Autumn is very close,

As it’s Saturday, it’s time for my weekly 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. I’m a great supporter of libraries, mainly because I could never afford to buy all the books that I want to read, and visit mine every week whenever possible. I love the fact that I can look at the online catalogue and request books to borrow. This is great for books that are recommended to me by different bookbloggers. It works much better for crime and mystery stories rather than fantasy though. For some reason, Leicestershire readers don’t borrow fantasy books so not many of them are purchased by the library system. It’s also great for finding books in bookshops that I might like. Getting a book from the library means that I don’t need to worry about wasting my money if I don’t like it!

I couldn’t go to the library last week so this week is a bumper week and I have some great books to read that I am really looking forward to.

Lefthanded Booksellers of London by Garth Nix
After reading and loving Sabriel last week, I had to pick this one up when I saw it on the shelf. It’s more of a magical take on 1980s rather than a traditional fantasy story but I love the idea of the protagonists being booksellers.

A Spoonful of Murder at Carnegie Hall by J M Hall
I was attracted by the cover of this book. Three retired school teachers begin to investigate the unexpected death of an ex-colleague. It sounds as though it might be similar to the Richard Osman books.

Oblivionin by Robert Harris
Robert Harris is a must read author for me. I’ve read mixed reviews about this book concerning the lives of men who signed the death warrant for Charles 1 and then began new lives in America. I’m interested to see what it’s like.

Helgoland by Carlo Rovelli
I saw this in Waterstones and requested it a couple of weeks ago. I have no idea if I will enjoy it or not. It’s the story of quantum physics which is something about which I know less than nothing. I’m hoping to learn something😃

The Death of Lucy Kyte by Nicola Upson
I’m still catching up on the books that I have missed in this historical crime series about the writer Josephine Tey. I do love the way Nicola Upson writes and am really looking forward to this one. It’s quite seasonal too as it begins in September 1936.

The Whalebone Theatre by Joanna Quinn
I’ve been waiting for this book for a while and I’m excited that it’s finally arrived. A family of children grow up on the coast as war approaches, neglected by their parents, they bring themselves up and have to find their own way.

That’s what I’ve added to my shelves this week and I am so looking forward to reading all of them. What’s been added to your bookshelves this week?

Stacking the Shelves 55

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It’s Saturday again and time for my weekly 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.

The Tower of London from the Southbank

It’s been another very hot week here in England but we’ve just come back from a short trip to London. I met up with friends before heading off to the National Theatre to see a brilliant production of Much Ado About Nothing. Yesterday we had a gorgeous early morning walk along the Thames path. But now we’re home again and it’s time for this week’s post.

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.

It was just a quick dash into the library this week to pick up my reserved books so I’ve only got three. I haven ‘t finished The Lincoln Highway yet and I’ve still got The House of Fortune to read so I’m not going to run out of books anytime soon.

The Angels of Venice by Philip Gwynne Jones
I tried to request this as an ARC from Net Galley but wasn’t approved. A quick visit to the library online catalogue and I now have this lovely new hardback to read. It’s set in Venice during the floods of 2019 when the body of a young art historian is found in an antique bookshop. The plot sounds very intriguing and as we visited Venice this year, I’m hoping to recognise some of the locations.

No Mercy by Joanna Schaffhausen
The sequel to this was reviewed by Tessa Talks Books earlier this week and it sounded brilliant so I ordered this one from the library. It’s set in Chicago which is another place we’ve visited recently. I do love those connections 😃

The Challenges of a King by K M Ashman
This one popped up on the library’s list of new books and it looked interesting. It’s the story of the battle for England’s crown in the year’s leading up to the Norman invasion of 1066. I read a trilogy about William the Conqueror a couple of years ago so this will be a nice opposing viewpoint.

That’s what I’ve added to my shelves this week. What’s been added to your bookshelves?

Godmersham Park – A Review

Godmersham Park is Gill Hornby’s second visit to the life and times of Jane Austen. In her previous novel, Miss Austen, she wrote a gorgeous fictionalised story of Cassandra, Jane’s older sister. In Godmersham, she focuses on a much less well known person in Jane’s life, Anne Sharp.

Anne Sharp became the governess to Jane’s favourite niece Fanny in January 1804 and spent two years at Godmersham Park. Gill Hornby has used Fanny Austen’s  journals to create a wholly believable novel of life in the family of Jane’s elder brother Edward over that two years.

The novel begins as Anne Sharp arrives at Godmersham to take up the role of governess. We know nothing about her background but the author has a created a perfect backstory for her. She has been brought up in a wealthy household where she was the much loved only daughter. However, upon her mother’s death, she is practically abandoned by her father and forced either to marry someone she actively disliked or find employment to support herself.

Her arrival at the park shows us all of the confusion that would have been felt by a young woman who has been flung into a totally different life to the one that she expected. A governess was neither part of the family nor part of the servant group so their lives would have been very lonely. In some ways, she was treated worse than the servants as they had set times of freedom whereas Anne was expected to be on duty whenever the family had need of her.

The novel is a gentle walk through Anne’s time at Godmersham. There are no dramatic events, just a gradual unfolding of characters. We see Anne’s unhappiness and then her increasing satisfaction with her new role. Into this calm existence, Henry Austen comes crashing in like a rock into a pool. His presence creates ripples and upheaval for everyone at the Park. At first, Anne dislikes him intensely but gradually her feelings change. She also meets Jane Austen when she comes to stay and their lifelong friendship begins as they put on theatrical performances together and go for long walks.

A governess’s life was a precarious one and this is clearly illustrated thoughout the book as Anne fears for her position due to her poor health and she only spends two years with the Austen family.
In some ways, it is a sad book as Anne is never able to really be happy. There are definite echoes of Persuasion in Anne’s character but sadly she never achieves the happy ending of Anne Elliott.

I really enjoyed the style of the writing and Jane Austen’s voice comes through clearly in the letters that she sends to Fanny. Anne felt incredibly real to me and I loved the way that Gill Hornby has created such a vivid character from Fanny’s journals.

I was so pleased that the author included notes at the end. The actual story ends with Anne’s departure from Godmersham Park but we can find out what happened to her after that. She and Jane only met twice more during their lives but Jane sent her a presentation copy of Emma with a handwritten inscription and she was also remembered in Jane’s will which definitely shows the closeness between the two women despite not seeing each other. Friendships being maintained by letter writing was a much more important of women’s lives two hundred years ago than it is now.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and being transported back to 1804. If you love Jane Austen, then this is definitely not to be missed.

Godmersham Park was published by Century in June 2022

Stacking the Shelves 52

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It’s Saturday again and it’s a perfect Summer day. We survived the three day heatwave with our 40 degree heat and I hope it doesn’t happen again for a while. Today is gorgeous with a bit of cloud and a breeze. A lovely day for a walk and a picnic lunch before heading home to create this blog post. I hope that everyone is having a lovely Saturday.

Saturday means that it’s time for my weekly 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 have a couple of fantasy books that I ordered and a couple of picks off the shelves. No crime or mystery novels this week which is really unusual for me.

Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Li
I didn’t read this when it came out and then requested the sequel on Net Galley not realising that it actually was a sequel. This means that I can read both the books straight away though which is brilliant.

The Madonna of Bolton by Matt Cain
This cover caught my eye and then I realised that it’s by the author of The Secret Life of Albert Entwhistle which I loved. A nine year old boy is given one of Madonna’s singles and promptly falls in love with her. She then becomes a sort of spirit guide for him as he deals with life’s problems. I’m expecting a sort of feel good coming of age story but I could be totally wrong!!

One Summer in Paris by Sarah Morgan
I don’t think that I’ve read this one and Sarah Morgan never disappoints, Two women in Paris and a bookshop sounds like a perfect Summer’s read.

Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan
This is another book where I’m a bit late to the party but I’ve seen it mentioned a few times lately and decided that it was time I read it.

That’s what I’ve added to my shelves this week. What’s been added to yours?

Stacking the Shelves 50

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It’s Saturday again and it’s my birthday!!! They do seem to come round quickly nowadays. It’s a beautiful sunny day here in England and I fully intend to spend at least part of today sitting in my garden with a cold drink and a book.

Saturday means that it’s time for my weekly Stacking the Shelves post. This is my 50th Stacking the Shelves post which means I’ve been doing this meme for a year nearly a year now! 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.

We’re back from our trip to the Mid West USA and so my library visits are back as normal. Here’s what I added to my shelves this week.

An Island Wedding by Jenny Colgan
This is a book that I have been waiting for for a few weeks now. I’m really excited to read the next instalment of life on the Scottish Island of Mure and catch up with the lives of Flora, Saif and the rest of the Islanders.

Summer on the Little Cornish Isles by Philippa Ashley
This is obviously part of a series set on the Scilly Isles but I’m hoping that it doesn’t matter. I’m looking forward to a feel good story set by the sea.

Murder Fest by Julie Wassmer
I love this cosy crime series set in Whitstable. This is the only book that I haven’t read in the series. I really love the way that Whitstable itself plays such a huge role in the books. I love books that make you want to visit the places where they are set.

Silent Parade by Kiego Higashino
I read Malice by this Japanese author a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it. I’ve never read any of this series about Detective Galileo though so I’m looking forward to discovering a new detective.

That’s what I’ve added to my shelves this week. What’s been added to yours?

Sundays in bed with …..The Dead of Winter

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 by my bed (or on the sofa) is The Dead of Winter by Nicola Upson.

Blurb from the book:
Writer Josephine Tey and Detective Chief Inspector Archie Penrose gather with their friends for a Cornish Christmas but two strange and brutal deaths on St Michael’s Mount – and the unexpected arrival of a world-famous film star in need of sanctuary – interrupt the festivities. Cut off by the sea and the relentless blizzard, can Josephine and Archie prevent the murderer from striking again?

This is probably the least appropriate book to be reading just as we celebrate Midsummer as it takes place at Christmas 1938 with violent snow storms forming part of the plot. I do love this series by Nicola Upson though and so far, this is just as good as the books I have read previously.

I do sometimes wonder if Blurb writers have actually read the book. The arrival of the film star isn’t unexpected at all but is the whole reason why Penrose is on St Michael’s Mount for Christmas. It’s only a small detail but it is important and I really feel that blurbs should be accurate.

What are you reading this Sunday?

Sundays in bed with…….. An Island Wedding

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 on the arm of my sofa is An Island Wedding by Jenny Colgan

Blurb from the book:
Olivia and Anthony are planning A Very Extravagant Wedding at the newest hotel on the tiny Scottish island of Mure. They’re flying in chefs, musicians and something called a living flower wall………… and no-one is allowed to even think the word ‘bridezilla’.

Flora is trying -and failing- not to let Olivia and Anthony’s wedding distract her from planning her own big day with Joel. But the couple have wildly different ideas about how to celebrate and somehow, just when their relationship should be plain sailing, everything suddenly feels very hard indeed.

And then there’s Lorna and Saif. The local headmistress and the GP desperately keeping their relationship a secret to protect his sons . But while they’re looking out for the boys, who’s looking out for them?

This is the fifth book in the Mure Island series and as usual it’s a combination of romance and heartbreak. These books are definitely on the bleaker side of romantic fiction. Yes, there is always romance but it generally comes after a lot of heart ache and even then, there may not be a happy after in store for the couples, I hope that Flora and Joel’s wedding goes OK but I have my doubts about the romance between Lorna and Saif being a happily ever after ending.

What are you reading this Sunday?

Stacking the Shelves 48

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It’s Saturday again and the Summer Solstice has been and gone. This year seems to just be racing away so quickly. There are just 6 months until Christmas!!!!!! Scary or what?

Saturday means that it’s time for my weekly 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 have any reserved books waiting for me so all my choices are ones that I found on the shelves. I could have picked four crime novels but decided to try and broaden my choices a bit.

The Forgotten Sister – Nicola Cornick
A historical mystery involving Amy Robsart and the favourite courtier of Elizabeth 1, Robert Dudley combined with a present day story involving a musician who causes a scandal at a wedding. I quite like dual time line stories and I’ve heard good things about Nicola Cornick although I haven’t read anything by her before so this seemed like an interesting book to choose.

Dark in Death by J D Robb
Another book in the In Death series. Lovely escapism into futuristic crime solving in New York twenty years from now.

The Dead of Winter by Nicola Upson
Maybe I should have hunted down more books by authors called Nicola? This is another in the historical crime series featuring author Josephine Tey. I’ve loved all the others and this one sounds just as good.

The Telephone Box Library by Rachel Lucas
This week’s feel good read concerns a local community trying to set up a volunteer library in a disused telephone box. I’m a sucker for any books with Library in the title and this promises to be a nice light read.

I’ve also still got half of Bleak House and my non fiction book I belong here to read from last week’s library visit so I have plenty to keep me occupied over the next seven days.

What have you added to your bookshelf this week?