Stacking the Shelves 69

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It’s Saturday again. Doesn’t it come around quickly? This weekend we’ve treated ourselves to a weekend on the south coast. I’m enjoying typing this while looking out at the sea from my hotel bedroom window. Then we’re off out for a walk along the beach. Apparently, the temperature is about 5 degrees C so we need to wrap up!

View through my hotel room window

The Christmas decorations are already up and lit too which means that’s really pretty at night time.

Saturday means 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.

However this week, as we’re away on the coast for the weekend, I haven’t been to the library. As I haven’t got any new library books, this week’s post is the books that I have recently added to my Net Galley shelf.

I keep trying not to add books as I’m trying to keep the numbers down so that I can review them all before their publication dates. It’s so difficult though. Especially when I see reviews on blogs of ARCs and then I go and see if it’s available here in the UK. It is! Ooops, that’s another book added to my shelf😲
The books are so good though and my review rating is still at 90% which I ‘m pleased about.

These are the ARCs that I have been approved for in the past couple of weeks. I’ve been requesting a few more light hearted books lately rather than my normal crime or epic fantasy. I think my brain needs a rest after Babel and the latest Robert Galbraith!

The Golden Oldies Book Club Judy Leigh
A book club formed mainly of older women and the second chances that they get to find love and romance. I love Judy Leigh’s books and I’m really looking forward to this.

The Ivory Tomb by Melissa Caruso
This is the concluding novel in the Melissa Caruso’s Rooks and Ruin trilogy. I’ve enjoyed this although not quite as much as the previous trilogy but then it was always going to be hard to beat that as I loved it so much.

Sunrise with the Silver Surfers by Maddie Please
60 year old Elin Anderson is newly single and decides that it’s time for an adventure so she heads off to Australia to visit relatives. While she’s there, she joins the Silver Surfers club and heads off to the coast and the waves.
Another book about older people having fun which definitely appeals.

The London Seance Society by Sarah Penner
Seances and murders all set in 1873 in Paris and London. This one sounds like a brilliant read.

That’s what I’ve added to my online shelves over the past couple of weeks and I am so looking forward to reading all of them.

What’s been added to your bookshelves this week?

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Voracious Reader or Book Nerd? Book Blogger Hop Nov 11

 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.

I just love this meme and the questions that come up. They generate so much discussion which is great.

This weeks question is: Which do you prefer to be known as: a voracious reader or a book nerd?(submitted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer))

This week’s question is a really easy one to answer. I would definitely want to be known as a voracious reader rather than a book nerd.

I’ve always read lots and quite quickly. When I was in primary school, my teachers sometimes wouldn’t believe that I could have a read in the time that I had. I usually get through a minimum of 4 books a week and if they’re relatively short, then it’s often more. I also read fairly widely. My favourite genres are fantasy, crime and historical fiction but I will read pretty much anything if I’m bored. I’m not that struck on my husbands military history books though.

Book Nerd sounds lot more negative to me whereas I think that reading lots is a positive thing. The best online definition that I found was this:
person who is extremely interested in one subjectespecially computers, and knows a lot of facts about it:

I don’t think that I am particularly nerdish about books. Apart from with a couple of members of my family, I don’t really discuss them outside of this blog. I don’t remember quotes or author facts either. I just love to read the stories.

What about you? Which would you rather be known as?

Old Kingdom Read -a-long

I have never read the Old Kingdom books by Garth Nix although my daughter loved them. I was already in my twenties when they were published and although I always meant to read them, I never quite got round to it.

I did read the prequel, Terciel and Elinor as an ARC on Net Galley and I really enjoyed that which reminded me that I still hadn’t read the original books. Then I saw that Jordyn was doing a read- a-long which was the impetus that I needed to actually get the books and read them. I’ve never done a read along before so it will be interesting to see what other people think as I read the book. I’m really late joining in with this as the read-along started two weeks ago. However, we’ve been on holiday and creating blog posts on my phone felt too much like hard work.

Jordyn has suggested reading chapters 1-10 last week and then chapters 11-20 this week and has put up questions to go with them. See her blog post here for the synopsis.

She has created a set of questions for the first 10 chapters so here goes with my initial thoughts and ideas.

1. Our main character comes into this world dead, but her father immediately brings her back to life. What do you think this foretells for the rest of the book going forward?
One of the main themes in the book is necromancy and Sabriel and her father are both necromancers so this beginning really sets the scene for the rest of the book where the dead will not rest quietly.

2. There is a creeping sense of foreboding as soon as Sabriel crosses the Wall and enters the Old Kingdom. What do you think lurks there?
I loved the clear difference between Sabriel’s life at school and the danger and uncertainty that she is heading into when she crosses the wall. I didn’t really have any clear idea of what was lurking there but imagined that it probably contains death to a greater or lesser extent after the opening chapter.

3. When Sabriel reaches the Wall, she is shown immediately as be both competent, and unsure. Does this endear her to you, as a reader, or make you less sure about her prospects in the story?
I really like the character of Sabriel and think that the mixture of competency and insecurity fits my image of an 18 year old ready to leave school. We know that she has been successful at school, being at the top or nearly of all of her classes. This will give her a feeling of competency as there are things that she is confident about. However, she has never been in this situation before so she feels unsure. I’m looking forward to reading more about how she deals with whatever the old kingdom throws at her.

4. Charter Magic is a huge part of this story. What do you think of the magic system so far? What do you think the Charter Stones do? Why are they destroyed?
Charter Magic is obviously rune based and a written form of magic. I’m impressed by how Sabriel is able to memorise the runes so quickly. There are echoes here of other books that have used similar magic systems, not least LOTR where runes play an important part. It’s obviously a powerful magic and linked to the earth through the use of stones to ward places however the stones are being destroyed and the magic is becoming weaker. This is also linked to the lack of a ruler in the Old Kingdom so there is no royal line to protect and carry on the magic. Moggett says “The whole world slides into evil”. The weakened charter magic is no longer enough to protect the kingdom.

5. We meet Mogget in Chapter Eight. What do you think he is? Is he good, evil, or neither? Why do you think he is forbidden from speaking about the Greater Dead? Is it a device for the author, to drag out the mystery, or do you think there is a in-story reason?
I love Mogget and his interjections were some of favourite parts. I’m unsure whether he is good or evil. He is obviously more than he appears to be as he is controlled by the collar. What will happen if Sabriel ever takes the collar off will be really interesting I think.

I have really loved reading the first 10 chapters of this book and can’t wait to carry on with the story.

WWW Wednesday September 7th

It’s Wednesday which 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 simple questions about what you are reading, have just finished and are about to read so here goes for this week.

We’re off on our travels again for our final holiday this year. This post is coming from the beautiful town of Collioure in South East France. We discovered Collioure in 2005 and fell in love with it so we have returned at regular intervals ever since. Here’s the amazing view from our bedroom

What I’m currently reading

Sabriel by Garth Nix

I’ve never read this series before and I’m really enjoying this fantasy. I guess it’s Middle Grade or YA but it was written before such classifications existed

Picture you Dead by Peter James

This is the latest in the Roy Grace series and is a very complicated tale of lost Art works and forgeries. I definitely have no idea how it’s going to end up

What I have recently finished reading

Oath of Fealty by Elizabeth Moon
I really fancied rereading something last week so I ended up binge reading all three books in the Deeds of Paksenarrion series and this first book in the follow up series. There’s something really satisfying about curling up with a set of books that you really enjoy

The Hidden Palace by Dinah Jefferies

I loved Daughters of War but didn’t find this one quite so engrossing. The characters didn’t come alive for me in the same way and there wasn’t the same sense of peril as there was in the earlier book

What I am intending to read next

This is by my bed ready to start this evening. A story of three women who meet on a beach and become friends. Perfect holiday reading

That’s the current state of my reading this week. What does your WWW Wednesday look like?

Sundays in bed with …….. Godmersham Park

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 Godmersham Park by Gill Hornby

I really liked Miss Austen last year by Gill Hornby and I’ve seen some good reviews about this latest novel inspired by the letters of Jane Austen.

Blurb from the book:
January 1804: Anne Sharp arrives at Godmersham Park in Kent to take up the position of governess

At thirty-one years old she has no previous experience of either teaching or fine country houses. But her mother has died and she desperately needs an independent income if she is to survive.

Her new role is awkward: she is neither one of the servants nor one of the family. A single wrong move may result in her instant dismissal.

She has just begun to settle into her position when dashing Henry Austen and his youngest sister Jane come to stay. Both take an immediate interest in the pretty, clever governess who quickly becomes drawn into the above-stairs life of the Austen family.

Despite her best endeavours, Anne finds that she is beginning to fall in love. But has her survival at Godmersham Park just become a good deal more precarious?

I love the way Gill Hornby has created a wholly believable back story for Anne Sharp who we only really know through Jane Austen’s letters to her niece Fanny who was in Anne’s charge.

What are you reading this Sunday?

Stacking the Shelves 53

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It’s Saturday again and that 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 had three reservations come in and then I picked a thriller off the shelf as I’m getting withdrawal symptoms from a lack of crime in my reading diet.

Godmersham Park by Gill Hornby
Definitely this week’s prettiest cover. I loved Miss Austen last year and I’ve heard lots of good things about this story of Anne Sharp who goes to be a governess to Jane Austen’s niece, Fanny.

Thrown by Sara Cox
I’m always a bit wary of celebrity authors but this another book that I have heard good reviews of. A group of women come together to try a new pottery class and make new friendships and discoveries. I love stories about random groups of people who come together so I’m really hoping to enjoy this one.

Elektra by Jennifer Saint
I’ve been waiting to read this for ages and am so glad that it’s finally arrived. Not just the story of Elektra but also Cassandra and Clytemnestra in the aftermath of the Trojan War.

Quiet Acts of Violence by Cath Stancliffe
I read Running out of Road earlier this year and loved it so I’m looking forward to this story of a dead baby and a missing mother.

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

WWW Wednesday July 27

Welcome to Wednesday which 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 simple 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

Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan
A gorgeous retelling of Chinese legends. I remember using the legend of the 10 suns in an assembly with my pupils many years ago. I’m loving this book so far.

Spring Cannot be Cancelled by David Hockney and Martin Gayford
I love David Hockney’s art and have been to several exhibitions. I was bought this for my birthday a couple of weeks ago. It’s basically a long conversation by email between David and Martin and covers so many things about his art work, other artists, nature and life itself. It’s so interesting to get such an insight into an artist’s mind.

What I have recently finished reading

I really enjoyed all of these although I can’t remember the last time that I went a whole week without reading a crime novel!!!!!

I loved being able to read the complete duology by Elizabeth Lim. I didn’t think that The Dragon’s Promise was quite as good as Six Crimson Cranes but it was still a good read.

What I am intending to read next

Madonna of Bolton by Matt Cain
This cover caught my eye at the library last week 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 Mfalls 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!!

That’s the current state of my reading this week. What does your WWW Wednesday look like?

I Belong Here – a review

In my aim to read more non fiction this year, I seem to be drawn to books about walking. So far I’ve read In Praise of Walking and Windswept and I Belong Here is another book where walking is the central theme.

I Belong Here: A Journey along the backbone of Britain by Anita Sethi
⭐⭐⭐

Anita Sethi was inspired (or driven to) walking the Pennine Way after being the victim of a Hate Crime involving racial abuse while on a train journey. The crime was reported and the perpetrator eventually prosecuted and found guilty. However, the author was traumatised by this whole experience and felt driven to explore the landscape of the place where she was born and had been brought up. She hoped that this would alleviate her anxiety and maybe provide a sense of belonging.

I was expecting something along the lines of The Salt Path which I read last year as in both cases, the authors had set out to complete a journey. However, this was a very different book and ultimately for me, a much less successful one.

The book is very much about the healing power of nature and how walking can ease your mind but the actual journey formed a much smaller part of the book than I expected. I loved her actual walking experiences especially when she went out for the day with a young girl who was staying at the same hostel. Her descriptions of the setting and her feelings are vivid and really made me want to see the peaks and pools for myself. I also loved the way she noticed the tiny details as she walked, first with a companion and then on her own. I share her frustration in seeing plants and birds and not being able to identify them. She was also very clear about how hard the actual process of walking was. It was very easy to empathise with her descriptions of how uncomfortable it is to carry your belongings in a single rucksack and I really felt her frustration when she injured her foot early on and had to interrupt her journey as a result.

However, the actual descriptions of her walking were constantly interrupted with other thoughts and the chapters seemed to meander between describing her journey, musings on society in general and racism in particular and even to include parts of a dictionary. Sometimes, this meandering made it hard to maintain interest especially the digressions into word meanings.

She makes a lot of very important points about how prevalent racism still is here in the UK as well as how unsafe many places still are for women on their own but I felt that the book really needed to be better organised. I really loved many parts of this book but others just didn’t hold my interest which is a shame as this was a book that I really wanted to like.

I Belong Here was published in 2021 by Bloomsbury.

WWW Wednesday July 20

Welcome to Wednesday which 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 simple questions about what you are reading, have just finished and are about to read so here goes for this week. As we’re in the middle of an unprecedented heatwave, it’s too hot to do anything else but read so I’ve got through lots of books in the past week.

What I’m currently reading

The IT Girl by Ruth Ware
A thriller set in an Oxford Cellege and starring bright young things in an echo of Evelyn Waugh. It’s told in a dual time line as we see the events that lead up to the murder as well as what is happening 10 years later. Compulsive reading so far.

What I have recently finished reading

The outstanding book out of this lot was The Botanist which was definitely a five star read. The Lost Man of Bombay was excellent too.

Longshadow was disappointing and I won’t bother to read any more of this series. I enjoyed the first which was a cross between Regency Romance and fantasy but now this one is mainly about the fae which doesn’t interest me as much.

What I am intending to read next

Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabet Lin

I have the sequel to this on my Net Galley shelf so I really need to read this one first 😃

That’s the current state of my reading this week. What does your WWW Wednesday look like?

5 Books that I have read because of other book bloggers

When Briana at Pages Unbound launched this challenge at the end of last year, I really meant to take part in it every month. However, my good intentions came to very little and I’ve only completed a couple of the monthly challenges so far.

I am doing this month’s though. I have discovered so many brilliant books as a result of reading book blogs that it will be hard to limit it to 5.

Of Darkness and Light by Ryan Cahill

I love discovering a new epic fantasy and I saw this on Biblionerd’s blog. So glad I did as it’s brilliant.

The Tenant/ The Butterfly House by Katrine Engberg

I saw the second in this series on Confessions of a Serial Reader and immediately ordered them both from the library. If you love crime thrillers, this author is brilliant.

The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams

I saw lots of great reviews for this book on various blogs and I loved it when I got round to it.

In Death series by J D Robb

This recommendation was from Lauren Concur who is doing reread of the entire series. As it’s over 50 books, that’s quite an undertaking. I’m just getting them out of the library gradually but it’s a great detective series set in New York in 40 years time.

The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake

I saw so many brilliant reviews for this in blogs and on instagram so I was thrilled when Net Galley approved me for an ARC just before publication date. However, unlike most other people, I was really disappointed with it. I didn’t like either the plot or the characters. But that’s fine. It’s a book that I wouldn’t have read without bloggers reviewing it and so I wouldn’t have known what the fuss was about when it hit the best sellers. I’m totally OK with not enjoying books that have been recommended as reading is such a personal experience.

These 5 are only a few of the books that I have been inspired to read by other bloggers. I’m really grateful for the way that book blogging has expanded my reading experience. Since I started book blogging, I have never been stuck for something to read.