Top 5 Tuesday – Top 5 Books of 2022 (so far)

Welcome to this week’s Top 5 Tuesday post. Top 5 Tuesday was created by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm, and it is now being hosted at Meeghan reads!! For details of all of the prompts for April to June see Meeghans page here.

AAAAAAAAAGH!!!! How can I be expected to choose my top 5 books? I’ve read some amazing books this year and picking 5 is just going to be hard.

To narrow it down, I’m going for my top 5 fantasy books that I’ve read this year so far.

Each one of these was a 5 star read for me and they were all by authors that I hadn’t read before this year.

Have you read any of these? What would be in your top 5 so far this year?

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?

Sundays in bed with …….. The Murders at Fleat House

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 Murders at Fleat House by Lucinda Riley.

Blurb from the book:
When a young student is found dead at a private boarding school, its elite reputation is at risk. The headmaster is determined to write the death off as a tragic accident – but Detective Jazz Hunter will soon suspect that a murder has been committed.

Escaping her own problems in London, the beautiful and isolated landscape of rural Norfolk had felt like the ideal place for Jazz to hide. But when it becomes clear the victim was tangled in a web of loyalties and old vendettas that go far beyond just one student and as the body count begins to grow, Jazz knows that she is running out of time.

All roads lead back to the closed world of the school. But Fleat House and its residents refuse to give up their secrets so easily – and as her investigation gathers pace, Jazz realises that that they are even more sinister than she could possibly have imagined.

This is Lucinda Riley’s last published novel after her death last year although she actually wrote it over a decade ago in 2006. It is her only crime novel and so is very different to her more famous Seven Sisters series. I am really enjoying it and can see that the character of Jazz Hunter could easily have become the focus of a new crime series. However, if the author had gone down the route of writing crime fiction, we might never have had the Seven Sisters books and that would have been a real loss.

What are you reading this Sunday?

WWW Wednesday June 15th

Welcome to Wednesday. I can’t believe that we’re halfway through June already. In two weeks time I will be in the US as we are visiting our daughter in Kansas City. We’re getting very excited about seeing her again and I know these next two weeks are going to fly by.

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 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

Murder at the Royal Botanic Garden by Andrea Penrose
This is a historical crime story based in Regency London. It’s the fifth in the series and I haven’t read any of the others but that isn’t proving to be a problem. An American botanist has been murdered at Kew Gardens and soon to be married Charlotte Sloane and her fiance have become involved with solving his murder. I’m really enjoying it so far and my only complaint is that there are references to the previous novels in the series which have given away their endings so I probably won’t go back and read them.

What I have recently finished reading

Storyland by Amy Jeffs
This was interesting to dip in and out of. The author had collected many of the really ancient myths and legends from around the UK and then put them into their geographical and historical context. Many of the legends were completely new to me and reading her accounts of visiting the different sites was fascinating.

The Final Strife by Saara El-Ariel
I really loved this book and stayed up past midnight to finish it. An epic fantasy with an African type setting and three really memorable female main characters. Brilliant!

The Summer Fair by Heidi Swain
This was a nice feel good read based in a fictional square in Norwich. As with the previous book I read in this series, everything ends up perfectly for everyone. The books are fun and easy to read but there isn’t really a lot of plot or a lot of humour so not my favourite romance author.

Echoes in Death by J D Robb
I’m enjoying working my way through this series. I say enjoying but actually the crimes committed are very grim and I do wonder sometimes where crime authors get their ideas and characters from. I like the fact that each book can be read as a standalone and the relationships between the main characters are great.

What I am intending to read next

Two Women in Rome by Elizabeth Buchan will probably be my next read.

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

Stacking the Shelves 44

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It’s Saturday and the sun is shining again. The temperature has definitely dropped though as this time last week we were in glorious Venice. We had an amazing holiday and were really sorry to have to leave.

St Marks at Night

However, today we are back at home and 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 brilliant selection of books to read.

The No Show by Beth O’Leary
I have loved all of Beth O’Leary’s books ever since my daughter recommended her to me a couple of years and I have been waiting to read this new one for ages. I’ve heard that it’s different to her precious books and more of a tear jerker so we will see.

Elizabeth of York – The Last White Rose by Alison Weir
This was just sitting on the shelf facing the door as I entered the library this morning. I love all things connected to the Wars of the Roses and I’m really looking forward to this story of Edward IV’s daughter who married Henry Tudor

The Madman of Bergerac by Georges Simenon
I’m not sure if I’ve ever read any of the Maigret books so I decided it was time to put that right and picked this one up off the shelf.

StoryLand by Amy Jeffs
This is my next non fiction read which I ordered from the library after seeing it featured as this month’s Non Fiction book of the month at Waterstones. The subtitle is A New Mythology of Britain and it’s all about the myths and legends that Britain is full of as well as the places that gave birth to the stories.

I’m really looking forward to reading all of these as well as hopefully reading a couple of the June releases that I’ve still got lined up on my Net Galley shelf.

What’s on your bookshelf this weekend?

WWW Wednesday May 25

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.

I’m posting this from sunny Italy where we’ve just got a couple more days left of our holiday. The weather has been amazing and we’ve been out a lot so haven’t done as much reading as normal

What I’m currently reading

Jade War by Fonda Lee
I can’t believe that it’s taken me so long to get around to reading this after reading the first one at the end of last year. I loved Jade City and this one is promising to be just as good

What I have recently finished reading

Kagen the Damed by Johathan Maberry
I’m really grateful to Tessa for recommending this one (see her review here . It was a brilliant epic fantasy read and I loved the ending. I can’t wait for the next instalment

All Systems Red by Martha Wells

I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I thought I would. I’m not sure why as it should have ticked all the boxes for me.

What I am intending to read next

Quicksilver Court by Melissa Caruso
This is the middle book of this trilogy by Melissa Caruso. It seems appropriate try and read it during our time in Venice as I’ve always felt that the country of Raverra in her Swords and Fire trilogy was inspired by Venice.

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

Stacking the Shelves 43

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!

This week’s stacking the shelves post is coming to you from sunny Venice!!!!!! I can hardly believe that we are actually here. We booked this holiday way back in the autumn of 2019 before anyone had heard of Covid and it’s been cancelled two years running. However, we are here and it’s absolutely glorious.

View from our hotel room

As I’m on holiday, there’s been no library visit this week so this post is looking at the books that I have recently added to my Net Galley shelves. I’ve currently got 20 books on my shelf and I’m being very good and reading them more or less in publication date order. I’m currently reading books that are due to be published in June.

These are the latest books that I have added to my shelf and am really looking forward to reading over the next couple of months.

Knave of Secrets by Alex Livingstone
I’ve seen so many posts about this book and was really excited when my request was approved last week. Described as a “twisty tale of magicians, con artists and card games, where secrets are traded and gambled like coin” It sounds right up my street.
Publication date 7th June

The It Girl by Ruth Ware
It was Hannah who found April’s body ten years ago.
It was Hannah who didn’t question what she saw that day.
Did her testimony put an innocent man in prison?

I love Ruth Ware’s thrillers and this one sounds fascinating.
Publication date 3rd August

Murder Before Evensong by Richard Coles
A local priest, Canon Daniel Clement, discovers a body at the back of his church. This is the first book by media vicar Richard Coles and I think it’s probably a cosy crime novel but I’m looking forward to reading what he’s come up with.
Publication date June 9th

Half a Soul by Olivia Atwater
Ever since she was cursed by a faerie, Theodora Ettings has had no sense of fear or embarrassment – a condition which makes her prone to accidental scandal. Dora hopes to be a quiet, sensible wallflower during the London Season – but when the strange, handsome and utterly uncouth Lord Sorcier discovers her condition, she is instead drawn into dangerous and peculiar faerie affairs.
Regency romance meets the fae. What’s not to love?
Publication date June 30th

The Hidden Palace by Dinah Jefferies
I loved Dinah’s first novel last year about three sisters in Nazi occupied France and I’m really looking forward to reading the next instalment
Publication date September 15th

The Rising Tide by Ann Cleeves
So excited by the prospect of reading a new Vera novel. Vera Stanhope is one of my favourite fictional detectives both in books and on the TV as Brenda Blethyn does an absolutely amazing job of portraying her.
Publication date September 1st

Picture You Dead by Peter James
Another of my favourite crime series that has made the jump to TV. I’m not sure about this adaptation yet but I do love the novels set in Brighton.
Publication date September 29th

Adult Assembly Required by Abbi Waxman
I loved The Bookish Life of Nina Hill last year and was very excited to discover that this newest book is about the same characters.
Publication date May 17th


I’ve managed to keep my review rating above 80% this year and have become a bit more selective about the books that I request so that the shelf stays manageable. I’ve currently got a review rating of 85% which I’m really happy with.

These are the ARCs that I have recently added to my shelves. What have you added over the past week?

Book Blogger Hop – May 20th

 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 week ‘s question is:

Do you drink tea or coffee while reading? (submitted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer)

Yes. I often drink coffee while I’m reading. I always read if I’m having lunch at home and will generally have a coffee with my lunch. Sometimes I’ll have a cup of coffee mid morning especially if my husband is working from home and makes me one. I don’t dislike tea but prefer coffee so that’s my hot drink of choice.

WWW Wednesday May 11

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.

It’s been a busy week with doing a concert so a couple of extra rehearsals and then on Sunday we took a drive to the coast to spend a lovely sunny but breezy day by the beach. That’s meant that I haven’t read quite as much as I usually do.

What I’m currently reading

Jane Austen at Home by Lucy Worsley
I like to have a non fiction book or some thing that I’m not desperate to get to the end of as a lunchtime read. Just reading a couple of chapters while I have my lunch works really well. If I get stuck into a novel, I find it too hard to put it down and lose my entire afternoon.

Apprentice in Death by J D Robb
I think this is the third book that I have read in this series. They make a nice contrast to all the British Crime novels that I normally read.

What I have recently finished reading

Beach Read by Emily Henry
I really loved this romantic comedy about two writers who swap genres.

The Shadow Man by Helen Fields
This was quite a dark thriller and I’m honestly not sure how much I enjoyed it. It was brilliantly written and I am in awe of writers who come up with these plots. I loved the character of Connie and would love to read another book with her character in it.

Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
This was a great read and I loved all the small details that became so important to him. I’ve got The Lincoln Highway on my list for the Summer.

What I am intending to read next

Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson
This is next on my radar after I’ve finished the J D Robb.

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

Top 5 Tuesday – Top 5 snacks for reading

Welcome to this week’s Top 5 Tuesday post. Top 5 Tuesday was created by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm, and it is now being hosted at Meeghan reads!! For details of all of the prompts for April to June see Meeghans page here.

We’re moving away from last month’s scavenger hunts and now it’s May, the topics are all about our reading environments. This week’s is all about the snacks that you eat while you are reading.

My choice of snack will often depend on the season but the one thing that I am always happy to eat while reading is chocolate. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. My idea of heaven would probably be a bar of Galaxy milk chocolate.

In the Summer, I love to pair the chocolate with strawberries. This can have unfortunate consequences for my book if the strawberries are a bit too ripe. I have more than one book with strawberry juice stains on one of its pages – I can hear the sounds of horror from some of you now.

I love to read while I eat my lunch now that I’m retired and don’t have to spend my lunch times marking books so any sandwich that means I can hold it in one hand while holding my book in the other is fine by me.

In fact, that probably sums up my attitude to eating while reading. If I can pick it up and eat it with one hand while holding a book in the other hand, then it’s a good snack as far as I am concerned. Not all snacks work though.

Jam doughnuts are delicious but possibly not the best choice for a reading snack. You get left with very sticky fingers!

Do you like to eat while you read or is that definitely a no-go area?