Stacking the Shelves does Christmas

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It’s Saturday again and it’s December so it’s officially time for decorations, lights and Christmas books. That’s a good job when you see the set of books that I brought home from the library this week.

Saturday means it’s time for my weekly Stacking the Shelves post. This is my 70th Stacking the Shelves post which feels fairly impressive to me! 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.

As you can see, this week’s haul has a very festive feel🎅🎄 I had several Christmas books on hold at the library and they all arrived at once!

Let it Snow by Beth Moran
I can’t remember where I saw this reviewed but I’ve enjoyed previous novels by Beth Moran. I like the fact that they are set in Nottinghamshire which is fairly close to where I live.

Celebrations at the Chateau by Jo Thomas
I’ve seen a few good reviews and so I ordered it from the library. Unusually, this one doesn’t involve a snowbound trip to Scotland as it’s set in Normandy in France. Three sisters unexpectedly inherit a chateau and try to set up a Bed and Breakfast business to raise money to restore it.

A White Christmas on Winter Street by Sue Moorcroft
This was recommended by Tessa Talks Books. Sky Terran resigns from her job and returns to her childhood foster home of Middledip to have a quiet Christmas getting used to her new life. Obviously things don’t go as planned.

The Christmas Holiday by Philippa Ashley
I’ve read a few Christmas books as ARC’s but this is the first physical Christmas book that I’ve picked up. I think I might save it until Dec 1st though

Christmas at the Keep by Marcia Willett
I’ve been reading Marcia Willett’s books set in Devon around Dartmouth for years but don’t remember seeing a Christmas one before. This one is actually only a novella as it’s 129 pages long. It’s quite poignant though as Marcia died this year and so this is her last book.

That’s what I’ve added to my festive book shelves this week. I think I might need to intersperse them with other books though as otherwise, I might well get Christmas overload.

Have you read any of them? What did you think?

What’s been added to your bookshelves this week?


My Christmas Reads Wrap-Up

I don’t usually read many Christmas books but this year, for some reason I seem to read have loads. It’s mostly down to social media and seeing books recommended on blogs or Instagram as well as the library having much more of a Festive feature than they have in previous years.

Library Christmas Book Display

I think I’ve probably read as many as I’m going to for this year so it seemed like a good time to do a mini wrap up/review post of the ones I’ve read.

Twelve Days to Save Christmas by Elizabeth Neep
This was the first Christmas book I read in 2021 during a gloriously sunny weekend way back in September. It was a Net Galley ARC but is still one of my favourite festive reads this year.

I really enjoyed it and completed it in one sitting. There are some really funny moments as well as some touching ones. One or two of the characters didn’t come across as completely real but I loved the character of Poppy and her journey through this novel. I felt that there were some real issues raised in the book about the personalities that we show to other people and how true they really are as well as it being a brilliant romantic comedy. I also loved the ending which was more hopeful than being an outright happy ending.

The Christmas Escape by Sarah Morgan
This was probably my favourite festive read this year. I loved the characters and the Lapland setting. It had just the right balance of tension between the characters to stop it being too sweet.

The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan
Another one that is definitely at the top of my list this year. This gorgeous book is set in Edinburgh and is full of lovely Christmassy feelings. It also features The Muppet Christmas Carol so you have to love it.

Christmas at the Beach Hut by Veronica Henry
I love Veronica Henry and have read all of the beach hut books and this was just as good as the others. A lovely story about a woman who feels completely taken for granted by her family and escapes to the beach hut for Christmas. While she is there, she becomes involved in the lives of other people and helps them to sort out their problems. I loved all of the characters in this book and it has a lovely happy ending.

An Island Christmas/ Christmas at the Island Hotel by Jenny Colgan
These are books 3 and 4 in Jenny Colgan’s series about the fictional Scottish island of Mure. An Island Christmas was actually quite serious for a festive read and certainly has a more down beat ending than many others however I did enjoy meeting familiar characters again.
Christmas at the Island Hotel I felt was bit of a let down. There wasn’t any real tension between the characters or in the situations and it seemed to me that Jenny Colgan was tying up loose ends from the previous books.

A Wedding in December by Sarah Morgan
This set in Aspen in the US and is full of champagne bubbles and sparkle. Rosie is planning to get married in four weeks time on Christmas Eve and wants her UK family to be with her. Her big sister thinks that she is rushing into things and wants to try and stop the wedding whereas her parents are hiding the fact that they have separated. And Rosie is beginning to have second thoughts.

Sarah Morgan never disappoints and this was another lovely Christmassy read with lots of snow

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A Surprise Christmas Wedding by Phillipa Ashley
One of my favourite things about so many of the Christmas books I have read this year has been the settings. This one is set in the Lake District and also includes real reindeer. It’s the story of Lottie, who is the events manager for a large estate, being asked to arrange her ex-fiance’s wedding at very short notice with all of the embarrassment that you would expect that to involve. It was an enjoyable read.

Meet me in London by Georgia Toffolo
This is my latest and probably last Christmas read. I’ve seen lots of good reviews of it but for some reason, it didn’t really live up to them for me. I’m never sure why certain books don’t appeal but I found myself skipping through this one quickly and not feeling very invested in the characters. I think it might just be down to the style of writing as I know lots of other people have really enjoyed this.

A Cornish Christmas Murder by Fiona Leitch
Not all of my festive reads have been romances, there have been a couple of murder mysteries in there too.
This one involves ex-policewoman Jodie Parker who is now a chef, catering for a children’s party in a large house on Bodmin Moor. There is a violent snow storm and she and her team are unable to leave the house. Inevitably , a murder occurs during the night.
This was a light hearted crime story with lots of comic moments as well as being a well plotted murder mystery. Definitely one to recommend for anyone who enjoys cosy crime mysteries.

The Christmas Murder Game by Alexandra Benedict
This was an unusual murder mystery as it involved the characters solving lots of riddles in order to inherit the family home. Again, it involved people being trapped in the house by a bad snow storm. I thought that it was a clever idea and the house was a brilliant character in its own right. I wasn’t sure that I believed in the characters though.

So that’s my festive reading all wrapped up for 2021. Have you read any of these? What did you think? Let me know in the comments as I would love to hear from you.

WWW Wednesday 15th December

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It’s Wednesday and as it’s Wednesday again, it must be 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

Currently Reading

This is certainly not an easy or cheerful read. We often read for escapism but I certainly wouldn’t want to escape to occupied France during WWII. It’s the story of two sisters Vianne and Isabella from the very start of the war through to the end and how they coped with the Nazi occupation. The two sisters are very different and behave in very different ways. Isabella wants to fight back and does everything she can to oppose the Nazis. Vianne has a daughter and is more careful about her actions. It’s an incredibly powerful story about the part played by women in the French resistance. The worst part about reading it is that it is all based on fact and people were treated in this way.

Recently Finished Reading

This was the final book in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy so that’s another series finished this year. I enjoyed it but it certainly wasn’t as gripping or memorable as the first book in the series. I really loved Karou in the original book but she got less vivid as a character as the series went on. The series was brilliantly plotted but as the plot got wider, I think that the characterisation suffered a bit.

Planning to read next

I think I’m going to need something a lot lighter after I’ve finished The Nightingale so my next read will be one of these two. I’m really looking forward to both of them.

That’s my WWW Wednesday for this week. Have you read any of these? What did you think?

Sundays in bed with ……The Christmas Escape

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).

The Christmas Escape by Sarah Morgan

Saturday night is obviously the time for me to begin a Christmas book as this is the second week that this post has featured a festive novel. I have enjoyed previous books by Sarah Morgan and this cover is just soooo pretty. How can you resist those blues and purples?

Blurb It was supposed to be Christy Sullivan’s perfect Christmas getaway—a trip to Lapland with her family and best friend, Alix. But facing a make-or-break marriage crisis, Christy desperately needs time alone with her husband. Her solution? Alix can take Christy’s little daughter to Lapland, and they will reunite there for Christmas Day. It’s a big ask, but what else are friends for?

There’s nothing Alix won’t do for Christy. But Christy’s request to save Christmas is giving Alix sleepless nights. She knows something is wrong, but for the first time ever, Christy isn’t talking. And even the Arctic temperatures in Lapland aren’t enough to dampen the seriously inconvenient sizzle Alix is developing for Zac, a fellow guest and nemesis from her past.

As secrets unravel and unexpected romance shines under the northern lights, can Christy and Alix’s Christmas escape give them the courage to fight for the relationships they really want, and save the precious gift of each other’s friendship?

This was the perfect book for a very chilly night at the end of November. It begins in Lapland as Robyn prepares for her visitors. The descriptions of Lapland are simply amazing. I love it when books transport me to a new place and this one definitely does that. It has made me really want to go there even though I hate the cold and probably wouldn’t survive 15 minutes without regretting it.

The characters are all really likeable and I quickly got involved with their different stories. Christy’s daughter Holly, who is a total tomboy and wants to be a scientist, is a complete delight. I’m fairly sure that I know how it’s going to all end up because it’s a Christmas romance but that doesn’t detract at all from the enjoyment of reading it. I’m looking forward to finishing it later on today and hope that there are aren’t any nasty surprises to prove me wrong.