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.

Book Blogger Hop July 15

 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 listen to audiobooks? If so, do you prefer listening instead of reading? (submitted by Elizabeth @ Silver’s Reviews)

I don’t listen to audio books at all. I read either physical books or ebooks and it’s a relaxation activity for me.

I know a lot of people listen to audio books while they are driving or exercising but I will generally listen to music at those times instead.

One thing that puts me off audiobooks is how long they are. The library sent me an audiobook by mistake once and I think it was something like 10 hours long.

I do like the idea of having the story read to me and I’ve heard great things about some audio versions so it might well be something that I will come to at some point.

Six in Six – July 2022

I’ve seen a few six in six posts recently and loved the idea of looking back at some of the brilliant (or less brilliant) books that I’ve read this year. The meme is the brainchild of Jo at Book Jotter and it has been going for 10 years now. The idea is that you find 6 books that fit a particular category and hopefully can complete six categories making six in six!! Jo has loads of category ideas in her 2022 post here

I actually made notes for this post as we flew out to America at the end of June and I had 8 hours of sitting with nowhere to go. However since then, my ideas have been sitting in my notebook doing nothing. Today though, I have finally got round to actually writing my Six in Six post.

Lets start with the good stuff –

Six 5 Star Reads ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

And then the less good

Six Books that disappointed

I read so many mysteries and thrillers that the next category was an easy pick. Most of them are by authors new to me as well which is brilliant as I love discovering new mystery writers.

Six Mysteries not by Agatha Christie

One of my reading targets this year was to read more non fiction and so far I’m averaging a non fiction book per month which is much more than I normally read. I’ve enjoyed all of these.

It’s been lovely being able to travel freely this year. So far, we’ve visited Italy and the USA with hopefully a visit to France in the Autumn so this next category felt really appropriate.

Six Trips to Europe

And my final category is celebrating some of the amazing authors that I have only discovered this year.

Six New to me Authors

Ashley Weaver
Ryan Cahill
Robin Blake
Emily Henry
J D Robb
Fonda Lee

So that’s my first six in six post. Would any of my categories or books feature in your post?

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?