Well on the home front I’ve continued to be under siege at work, but I’m battling through.
Yesterday we visited the wedding venue to meet the ‘flower lady’, counted the number of steps the bride-to-be is going to have to climb in her finery and debated whether the odd-shaped conveniences were going to pose an insurmountable problem. Then did lots of arty crafty stuff, which went better than I anticipated.
Last Week on the Blog
This week got off to a cracking start with my review of Lying In Wait by the fabulously talented Liz Nugent Who can resist a book that starts with this line?
‘My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it.’
To round off this review Liz Nugent also pointed out the following – I’m thrilled!
Tuesday Post featured the first paragraph was from Death Comes Knocking by Graham Bartlett and Peter James – my tenth non-fiction read of 2016 already beating 2015’s total.
On This Week in Books I reaffirmed my vow to read the ninth in my pile from my 20 Books of Summer 2016 Challenge, A Testament of Youth. I’m proud to confirm I have started it and I’m enjoying it enormously.
I was thrilled to be invited to pose a list of questions to James Henry to celebrate the publication of his latest book, Blackwater. You can read his good humoured responses here.
Friday I finally got around to posting another review; I Found You by Lisa Jewell which was another brilliant read from this talented author, and her darkest yet.
And the second half of my 20 Books of Summer 2016 was published yesterday. By rights this should mean I’ve read all ten of the first set which sadly isn’t the case, but I’m aiming to read as many of these as I can before the end of the challenge.
Stacking the Shelves
This week two books I won in a prize on Portobello Book Blog arrived through my letterbox from Black & White Publishers. This is the second time I’ve been a won something through Portobello Book Blog, one that is worth checking out as it is full of hidden gems, such as The Judge’s Wife by Ann O’Loughlin.
Spanning three decades, this is the moving story of three women and how one great love changed their lives forever.
With her whole life ahead of her, beautiful young Grace’s world changes forever when she’s married off to a much older judge. Soon, feeling lonely and neglected, Grace meets and falls in love with an Indian doctor, Vikram. He’s charming, thoughtful and kind, everything her husband is not. But this is the 1950s and when she becomes pregnant, the potential scandal must be harshly dealt with to avoid ruin.
As soon as she has given birth, Grace is sent to an asylum by the judge and a conniving aunt. Vikram is told that Grace died in childbirth and returns, heartbroken, to India. But it’s not the end of the story. Thirty years later, with the judge dead, his estranged daughter Emma returns home, full of anger and resentment. There she finds Grace’s diaries and begins to uncover a mystery about her mother that she had never suspected. Meanwhile, in India, Vikram is planning a long-awaited trip to Ireland with his much-loved niece, Rosa, who has heard all about Grace and her uncle’s long lost love, so that he can stand, at last, at the grave of the woman he loved. Goodreads
Along with this book, came another by the same author; The Ballroom Café.
Sisters Ella and Roberta O’Callaghan haven’t spoken for decades, torn apart by a dark family secret from their past. They both still live in the family’s crumbling Irish mansion, communicating only through the terse and bitter notes they leave for each other in the hallway. But when their way of life is suddenly threatened by bankruptcy, Ella tries to save their home by opening a café in the ballroom – much to Roberta’s disgust.
As the café begin to thrive, the sisters are drawn into a new battle when Debbie, an American woman searching for her birth mother, starts working at the Ballroom Café. Debbie has little time left but as she sets out to discover who she really is and what happened to her mother, she is met by silence and lies at the local convent. Determined to discover the truth, she begins to uncover an adoption scandal that will rock both the community and the warring sisters.
Powerful and poignant, The Ballroom Café is a moving story of love lost and found. Goodreads
And then to almost the opposite of the nice-gentle-read range, I came across this review for The Unspeakable Crimes of Dr Petiot by Thomas Maeder on His Futile Preoccupations blog. Guy’s review states:
It’s impossible to create a spectrum of cruelty when it comes to murderers, but Dr. Petiot is right up there with the worst–not just for the numbers involved but for the way he capitalized on fear, preying on the most vulnerable people.
So I’m forewarned that this might be too much for me, but fortunately I know someone else who will love this if it is.
Was he a sadistic mass killer who lured innocent people to their deaths in his mysterious triangular room, or a hero of German-occupied Paris who liquidated members of the Gestapo and helped persecuted Jews and underground fighters escape from tormented France? This was the question as one of the twentieth century’s most sensational murder cases came to trial in Paris in 1946, and Dr. Marcel Petiot savagely fought for his honor and his life. Here Thomas Maeder meticulously reconstructs one of the most horrifying true stories in the annals of crime: the vile murders themselves (presumably Dr. Petiot dismembered his victims, then buried them in a lime pit), an incisive psychological portrait of the doctor, and a re-creation of his Daumieresque trial, in which he was charged with luring twenty-seven people with the promise of escape, then murdering them for plunder. Just how the crimes were committed was a secret Dr. Petiot took to his grave; why he committed them remains to this day a chilling mystery. In a century in which murder became almost commonplace, Dr. Petiot’s story is an alarming chapter in the saga of sadism. With 16 pages of black-and-white photographs. Goodreads
Since my last post I have read just 2 books and gained 3 but fortunately found a read book in the physical book pile so the total this week is now standing still at 175 books!
89 physical books
18 books on NetGalley
What have you found to read this week?