Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (November 13)

Weekly Wrap Up

An exciting week here in Jersey – I got a new bookshelf, one that I had been campaigning for over a period of months – there were books piled up all over the place, but I hadn’t got (quite) as far as under the duvet as one friend suggested, although it was a close call!

So I introduce the new 5 shelf bookcase

main-bookshelf-november-2016

This of course meant that the other three needed rearranging and so as not to feel left out here are two of them. So now I have many more of my TBR books on display so I can’t forget about them and there are a few spaces… not many, but a few!

bookshelf-november-2016bookshelf-2-november-2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have also completed my Goodreads Challenge for 2016 having read and reviewed 130 books!
 

Goodreads Reading Challenge 2016.png

This Week on the Blog

Well disaster was nearly averted as I managed to get my dates wrong not only on the weekly posts but also schedule them for the wrong days – so for any of you who were confused, I’m sorry – it won’t happen again!

Following my TBR Book Tag of last week, Ian Hobbs of the Devon Book Club @BookDevon wrote his answers to the tag, but not having a blog asked me to post them on his behalf – his TBR isn’t quite as out of control as mine but I generously agreed, although I did give him the wrong name until he pointed it out – sorry Ian, I should have checked everything else at this point!

My review of The Museum of You by Carys Bray went up, I gave this five stars, a beautiful and yet not a saccharine read about a girl who creates a museum inspired display about her mother who she has never known.

My weekly post on Tuesday (which had the wrong date) was an excerpt from Another Day Gone by Eliza Graham, a book that starts with a bomb (literally) in Coventry in 1939 and combines this with a story following the terrorist attacks in London in 2005. My review will follow soon!

On Wednesday my This Week in Books post which went out on Tuesday only to be taken down and reposted on Wednesday featured amongst others my upcoming read of In Her Wake by Amanda Jennings.

My review of Manipulated Lives by H.A. Leuschel, a collection of five novellas all with a manipulator at their heart was published on Thursday. This selection featured a wide range of characters and situations for the manipulator to operate in.

On Friday I published my review of While You Were Sleeping, the latest psychological thriller from Kathryn Croft which starts with a woman in bed with a dead man, who is not her husband – she has no idea what happened!

Yesterday my fourth review of the week was for Jodi Picoult’s Small Great Things, a book that is already sparking fierce debate before it is published. I really loved the comments I got for this review – if the book hadn’t given me enough to think about already, these did.

A Side Note

Now in addition to the scheduling issues over the last couple of weeks I’ve also started recalibrating my rating system. I’ve always gone with gut feel on finishing a book and chosen the number of stars that way, hoping that the words would guide the reader. However on reflection a wide range of books in terms of enjoyment, ended up in my four star pile, it was time for a change. I’ve always stated that my blog is for other readers and I felt I was perhaps tending towards the every book is excellent in terms of rating even if not in the content of the of reviews.

So from here on in I will be tougher – not meaner, but perhaps a little more discerning. As always I welcome your thoughts!

This Time Last Year

I was reading The Silent Dead by Claire McGowan one of the strong writers that has her crimes set in Ireland, this book concentrates on Missing People on both sides of the border, a book that I felt skilfully portrayed the reality of a community torn apart by violence in this book that poses a big moral question. See my review here

The Silent Dead

Blurb

Victim: Male. Mid-thirties. 5’7″.

Cause of death: Hanging. Initial impression – murder.

ID: Mickey Doyle. Suspected terrorist and member of the Mayday Five.

The officers at the crime scene know exactly who the victim is.

Doyle was one of five suspected bombers who caused the deaths of sixteen people.

The remaining four are also missing and when a second body is found, decapitated, it’s clear they are being killed by the same methods their victims suffered.

Forensic psychologist Paula Maguire is assigned the case but she is up against the clock – both personally and professionally.

With moral boundaries blurred between victim and perpetrator, will be Paula be able to find those responsible? After all, even killers deserve justice, don’t they? Goodreads


Stacking the Shelves

A truly tiny stack this week of just one book! Yes, your eyes aren’t deceiving you I am (a little bit) determined to drive the TBR in the downward direction…

You know me, I simply can’t resist the hyped psychological thrillers, I loved Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train and The Widow and so when I heard about the new name for 2017, of course I had to read it – so I have a copy of Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough which will be published on 26 January 2017.

behind-her-eyes

Blurb

Love at first sight can be blinding…

It’s said that the only people who really know what goes on in a marriage are the couple themselves. But what if even they don’t know the truth?

David and Adele seem like the ideal pair. He’s a successful psychiatrist, she is his picture-perfect wife who adores him. But why is he so controlling? And why is she keeping things hidden?

Louise, David’s new secretary, is intrigued and drawn into their orbit. But as Louise gets closer to each of them, instead of finding answers she uncovers more puzzling questions. The only thing that is crystal clear is that something in this marriage is very, very wrong. But Louise can’t guess how wrong – and how far a person might go to protect a marriage’s secrets. Goodreads

In a bid to reduce the TBR I was invited by Guy Savage of His Futile Preoccupations who had read of its woeful state although it is fair to say that some of the books only are on the TBR because of his fabulous reviews!

Guy has invited you to join the Goodreads group “Mount TBR 2017″.
Guy says, ” Just in case you’re interested”
To accept the invitation, please follow the link

So I’ve signed up to the Mount Vancouver which means I have to read 36 books that are on my bookshelf on 1 January 2017 by 31 December 2017. So of course instead of reading I have been transferring books from the trusty spreadsheet to Goodreads so that I don’t fall foul of the rules!

PicMonkey Collage TBR

TBR WATCH

Since my last post I have read 3 books, DNF 1, and managed to gain just 1 and so my TBR is standing at 178 books!

94 physical books
67 e-books
17 books on NetGalley

What have you found to read this week?

Author:

A book lover who clearly has issues as obsessed with crime despite leading a respectable life

36 thoughts on “Weekly Wrap Up (November 13)

  1. If ratings work for you then I have no issue. I have avoided rating systems because I would find it so taxing to make decisions and would probably end up with stupid things like 3.25….. or a formula where I give points for quality, characterisation, setting etc and then combine into a final rating. But that feels like too much work and not enough fun.

  2. I’m very jealous of your tidy bookshelves – mine are double parked and have a book in any space! I’ve read the Sarah Pinborough and really liked it – happy reading.

    1. You should have seen them before yesterday 😉 and we now have the dining room table clear and I don’t have to move a pile of books to open the drawer in the bedroom…! I’m looking forward to the Sarah Pinborough, it looks like just my kind of read!

  3. Some great books as always. Hope the new rating system works for you. I find stars so difficult, especially because looking back on books I often wonder if I would have rated them the same on reflection and when compared to other books with the same rating. Enjoy Filling your new bookcase.

  4. Congrats on the Goodreads challenge and the new bookshelf!

    I try to be consistent with my ratings – 1 star for deplorable; 2 stars for books that I didn’t enjoy but others might; 3 stars for good, solid books (and ones that I recommend to particular people); 4 stars for books that I really enjoyed; 5 stars for truly amazing books. Usually in a year is one get a couple in the 1 and 5 star categories, a bunch in 4 star and the majority in 2 and 3.

  5. Love your new shelves, Cleo. As for ratings, well I am rubbish. I’m very free and easy with my 5*s but I suppose that within that category I know I have liked some more than others. But I also feel that 3*s is a rating for a just ok book. I probably should rethink my ratings but it’s hard after all this time.

    Well done on completing your Goodreads challenge and on your busy week. Ooh and also only one addition to the pile! Very impressive.

    1. Why thank you – I’ve been doing my ratings the same way for years but decided I wanted more distinction, we’ll see how it goes I give loads of 5*s too it’s more the 4*s that are a bit of a jumble in terms of quality.
      Don’t tell anyone but I’ve already added another since posting 😉

  6. I love that new bookshelf, Cleo! It’s beautiful. And I know just what you mean about needing the extra space. And about your rating system, I think it’s so very hard to choose a way to rate that’s informative. It’s made doubly hard because, as you say, books vary so greatly, and you might like two very different books to the same degree, but for two very different reasons. It’s hard to capture that in a rating system. I give you a lot of credit.

    1. Thank you Margot – I am very pleased with the new bookcase!
      Rating is hard because I like to think I capture the salient points in my reviews but not every book is ‘the best ever’ and spreading them out a little seemed sensible.

  7. Congratulations on your Goodreads challenge, I need to get a spurt on and I set a low bar of 80 this year. Good news on the bookcase and only one addition this week. Good luck with the new ratings. I like to think my reviews are for readers and am fairly mean with my 5 stars as being liberal with them loses their value. I like to use half stars to give me more options and for me a 3 is a good solid read so there’s plenty of flexibily. In the end though it’s just a reflection of what you think/feel about a book that other readers can use to gauge whether it’s likely to suit them so don’t get too hung up about it. ☺

    1. I always swore not to use half stars but I can see the value – part of what prompted me to rein it all in was reading endless blog posts which all had 5 * ratings – I have no idea whether the book is good or not because each review is of the ‘wow this is the best book ever’ variety – I feel my words convey my sentiments but maybe not the overall rating!

      1. I know what you mean, there needs to be a bit more objectivity for me if reviews are to mean anything. But as we all have different opinions and rating systems I suppose in the end the reader will settle on their own best taste matches. I know I do.

        1. What a great comment – in some ways I was just trying to say to ‘my’ readers if you see a 3* review, in the past it may have got 4*s but I like to think the content is where you’ll find out whether a book will be to your taste or not, because what I like or dislike may not coincide with your taste.

  8. A warm welcome to your new bookcase! 🙂 I will have to buy a new one soon, books are everywhere and the dogs love knocking over my heaps! Congratulations on your Goodreads challenge!
    Finding the best rating system is difficult. I only give 5* to books that shook me, had a real impact and to stories that stayed with me and had all I am looking for in a book. 4* are for great books with minor flaws, 3 is an okay book, nice but nothing too special. 2 are books I struggled to finish and did not really enjoyed. 1*-books are rare, maybe for DNF with stories containing lots of things you can’t possibly agree to find in a book. I don’t give out 5* so often because the books need to be very special to get all the stars.
    I like the Mount TBR challenge, it looks like fun and a good way to finally tackle those TBR piles!

  9. I completely understand your concern regarding rating systems. I’m aware that when I rate a book, it’s normally just after I’ve read it when I’m still buzzing over it, but I can’t leave it longer as there’s a risk I’d forget it. But I’m also aware that after some time has elapsed books that didn’t get the top score often somehow lodge in my head, while some of the ones I LOVED at the time simple disappear from my memory without trace – it’s a hard one! I look forward to hearing what you think of Sarah Pinborough’s book – I’ve seen her around at Fantasycon and Bristolcon and she’s a feisty, straight-talking woman with wonderful wit and sufficient personal charisma to power a small town. This is my Sunday Post roundup – https://sjhigbee.wordpress.com/2016/11/13/sunday-post-13th-november-2016/. Have a great week:)

    1. I totally agree it is often the case that I completely forget the content of books I initially rate highly but others stay with me for an age – the sign of a really good book. Thank you for the insight into Sarah Pinborough, I’m looking forward to her book even more now 🙂

  10. I do rate my reviews but it’s frustrating. The ratings stand for different things on different sights. It seems like 3 stars isn’t a good thing on some of them? I need another bookshelf too. But where to put it! LOL

    My Sunday Post

  11. Congrats on finishing the challenge! And on your new shelf, which offers up the opportunity to really know how to find your books!

    I have added Behind Her Eyes to my list… and I’m already panting for my own copy of While You Were Sleeping.

    As for ratings…it’s hard to choose how many stars….but I go with my gut, usually…and hope that the words in my reviews guide potential readers a little. It’s all a toss-up, isn’t it?

    Thanks for sharing…and for visiting my blog.

  12. While You Were Sleeping sounds great, adding to wishlist. I just love visiting your blog, always adding and sometimes your recommendations by pass many other books.

    Well done on the challenge, yaaaay. I enjoyed the comments on your JodiP review also.

  13. Looking forward to the new, meaner you! I know what you mean – the vast majority of books I review end up in 4 or 5 stars too, even though I’m much meaner than you in the text of my reviews. But of course we mostly read stuff we expect to enjoy so I suppose our high-ish ratings make sense. I do find half stars helpful – sometimes a book is definitely above average but maybe not quite great…

    PS Having a break for a bit – see you soon!

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