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Cleopatra Loves Books is Four Today

Yes it is four years ago today that I took the plunge and started this little blog, at that time not having any idea how big the book blogging community was, and it’s grown since then!

My blog was, and still is, a place for me to record reviews for all the books I finish and since I’ve been blogging and interacting with all of you lovely people my TBR has grown from a modest pile of books by my bed and a few unread ones on my kindle to an enormous mountain, but one that is full of books that I’ve purchased because of YOU. This means when the book apocalypse comes, I will be ready, all prepared with enough books to keep me going for the foreseeable, and if I should run out I have my lovely bookshelves full of the books I’ve kept (and there are a fair few) because I might want to read them again.

I really can’t believe I’ve been writing my reviews and posting memes for four whole years and again, although I didn’t expect to find so many lovely people to read them, YOU have certainly made this something that I do – everyone knows that I blog about books (yes, those people I know in ‘real’ life) and it is a pleasure, so much so I can’t remember what I possibly did with all the time I now spend tapping away on my laptop – my keyboard no longer has all of its letters I am minus S, M, N & V, but luckily I touch type so that hasn’t foiled me!

Thank you for interacting with me, sending me recommendations and books and being all round lovely people!

My birthday post traditionally looks at the reviews I’ve written that have proved most popular – any excuse for a few stats so without further ado…

So now to the facts and figures:

This is my 1,318th post over the four year period, although it should be said that the posts that go back to the beginning of 2013 were those I’d previously posted on Amazon for that year having been reviewing on there since 2010.

The top five reviews on my blog over its entire life are… dum dum dum… in reverse order:

Disclaimer by Renee Knight from April 2015
The Sixth Window by Rachel Abbott from January 2017
He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly from February 2017
Sleep Tight by Rachel Abbott from March 2014
The Book of You Claire Kendal from February 2014

The eagle-eyed amongst you will spot not just one but two of Rachel Abbott’s books here which I’m delighted about as she is a fellow Channel Islander residing on the island of Alderney.

The top five reviews on my blog over the last year, again in reverse order are:

The Doll Funeral by Kate Hamer from February 2017
Painkiller by NJ Fountain from January 2017
Anne Perry and the Murder of the Century by Peter Graham from March 2017
The Sixth Window by Rachel Abbott from January 2017
He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly from February 2017

 

 
Of course I don’t just write reviews I participate in memes, tags and the yearly Reading Bingo in December where I look back over my books that have made an impact (or merely just fill one of the squares) which fear not, will be back again later this year.

This year I’ve joined in Jo’s The Six in Six where you can see some of my favourite reads from the first half of this year and Put a Book on the Map will be back in the autumn so if you have read a book that you’d like to see featured, please let me know.

Thanks for a wonderful four years and I hope to continue to entertain you with my dark reading habits even more for a little while to come yet.

 

 

 

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The Six in Six – 2017 Edition


This meme originates from Jo at The Book Jotter  and having thoroughly enjoyed participating last year, I wanted to repeat the experience this year, better late then never eh?

The aim is to sort your reads into six categories – you can choose from the ones Jo suggests or come up with your own. Although the same book can obviously feature in more than one category, I’ve chosen to select one book for each category from my favourite reads of the year so far.

Six Books I Really, Really Loved

 

The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell

The Night Visitor by Lucy Atkins

A Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys

The Child by Fiona Barton

He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly

Dying Games by Steve Robinson

Six Books From A Series

The Sixth Window by Rachel Abbott #6 DCI Tom Douglas

Saturday Requiem by Nicci French #6 Frieda Klein

Bones and Silence by Reginald Hill #11 Dalziel & Pascoe

Quieter Than Killing by Sarah Hilary#4 DI Marnie Rome

The Cipher Garden by Martin Edwards  #2 Lake District Mystery

Need You Dead by Peter James –  #13 Roy Grace Series

 Six physical books I have read

All The Good Things by Clare Fisher

A Life Between Us by Louise Walters

The Other Us by Fiona Harper

Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton

Blood Sisters by Jane Corry

The Thirteen Problems by Agatha Christie

Six Books True Crime or Inspired by True Crime

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

The Long Drop by Denise Mina

Little Deaths by Emma Flint

Anne Perry and the Murder of the Century by Peter Graham

The Fact of a Body by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich 

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

Six authors I have read before

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

An Act of Silence by Colette McBeth

Greatest Hits by  Laura Barnett

They All Fall Down by Tammy Cohen

Winter Garden by Beryl Bainbridge

My Sweet Revenge by Jane Fallon

Six Authors New To Me

The Housekeeper by Suellen Dainty

The Sewing Machine by Natalie Fergie

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

The Legacy by  Yrsa Sigurðardóttir 

Sewing The Shadows Together by Alison Baillie

Tattletale by Sarah J Naughton

So there are my choices from the first half of 2017 – What would you choose?

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Mystery Blogger Award!

I was nominated for this award by the lovely Laura over at Snazzy Books– thanks so much for the nomination, and go check out her blog if you haven’t already!

What is the Mystery Blogger Award?

“Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion. – Okoto Enigma

The rules by Okoto Enigma are:
1. Put the award logo/image in your post.
2. List all the rules.
3. Thank whoever nominated you and leave a link to their blog.
4. Tell your readers three things about yourself.
5. Nominate 10-20 people and notify them
6. Link back to the creator of the award.
7. Ask nominees any 5 questions of your choice, with a weird or funny question.
8. Share the link to your best/favourite post of yours.

Three things about me

1. My favourite time of the day is the morning. I wake up before the rest of the household and relish some time with coffee and to browse all the new blog posts and social media in peace and quiet

2. I love crime fiction and this year I am seeking out all those stories inspired by true crimes – three recent favourites in this genre look at the lives and crimes of Peter Manuel, Lizzie Borden and Alice Crimmins.

The Long Drop by Denise Mina
See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt
Little Deaths by Emma Flint

3. I have a cameo role in A Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys (aka Tammy Cohen) and my personal copy has a bookmark at the place where I appear so that I can show absolutely everyone who comes to my house!

My Answers to Laura’s Questions

What’s your favourite genre to read from?

I love it when we start with an easy question – crime fiction, of course!

If you had to pick only one favourite publisher to read from for the rest of your life, which would it be? (This is tricky, I know!)

I never noticed publishers before I started blogging but there are a number who seem to produce just the sort of books I love but the one with the most sure-fire hit rate is Bonnier Zaffre

Is there anything about a book that instantly puts you off?

Ooh, I’m quite a nice reader in that I tend to keep an open mind but pedestrian openers full of description does put me off. I

How do you decide what to read next? Do you go by publication dates or just what you fancy – or a bit of both?

Ah – you clearly haven’t heard of my spreadsheet (or to be more accurate, entire excel workbook) which I put all my upcoming reads into by month of publication. This year to make sure I read more of my own books, each month has three entries not to be moved rows for books bought prior to 2017 and these I choose on a whim from the lengthy list when I get to them.

What do you do if you’ve accepted a book for review and you really don’t like it? Would you still publish the review?

Absolutely!! Although it has got harder since I’ve got to know authors and publishers through social media, I set my blog up for other readers to find recommendations. I therefore review all books I finish even if that means a low rating. Fortunately I don’t have too many that fall into that category. I do think it’s important to remember that it doesn’t really matter if I like a book or not, as what I dislike may be another person’s passion.
The one caveat to that is if I’ve agreed to do a book tour, I let the organiser know and will publish the review later, outside the official tour banner.

My five questions:

Which book would you recommend to me and why?

Which author would you most like to go for a drink with?

Do you write notes for your reviews or are you like me and wing it?

If you were to write a book, what title would you give it?

What is your favourite book quote?

I’m now going to break the rules by not nominating specific blogs as many of you have already participated but if you haven’t and you’d like to – I’d be thrilled to read your post!!

The Link to My Favourite Blog Post

My most successful post ever was on 1 January 2017 which was about my first book of the year – if you missed it, it’s here.

I’m delighted this post reached so far as it was a far more personal post to those which I normally write and the comments both on the post and via email really warmed my heart.

Thank you again to Laura for my nomination and her wonderful questions.

 

 

 

 

 

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The First Book Of The Year 2017

The lovey Sheila at Book Journey is on a mission to get as many pictures of books being read on 1 January 2017, so pop on over to see how many she managed to get!

The book I have chosen as the first read of the year is A Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys which will be published on 23 March 2017, chosen by me for a very special reason…

The 6 March 2016 would have been my son Owen’s 22nd birthday, the day we had designated as the one where we would spread his ashes, and because the fates were determined to do their very worst, it was also Mother’s Day here in the UK. Owen’s birthday had coincided with Mother’s Day only once before, when realising Mum would do without her day, as his birthday was far more important, we exchanged cards that cold March morning with his to me saying ‘Celebrating OUR special day xx’ For the two special days to coincide this year, my first without him, seemed almost too much to bear – but as they say, the show must go on, and it did.

owen-2012

In memory of Owen pictured here in 2012

At the same time a group of authors were holding an auction to raise funds for CLIC Sargent, a charity that supports children and young adults from the moment of a cancer diagnosis onwards. Now we didn’t have the support of this charity, but I’m well aware of the different needs of someone Owen’s age to a cancer diagnosis. It is particularly tough that at a time when youngsters think they are invincible, that they are forced to confront something so tough.  That’s not to say we had no support, we did and all the healthcare professionals we met were exceptional, but on a small island there was no-one else Owen’s age, dealing with that kind of news, and I wish there had been something more tailored to his needs.

The closing date for the auction was, yes – 6 March 2016, and I was determined to give funds to this charity, and to do so, I had to win an auction. I entered several knowing that we would be having our special meal for Owen at the time it closed. Having eaten a lovely meal and raised my (final) Gin and Tonic, I checked the website and was thrilled to see I had won the prize I really wanted – to be named in one of Tammy Cohen’s books! When the formalities were done, she told me (I had to keep it secret) that she was writing a historical novel and she didn’t think my name would fit in that one, so did I mind waiting, I didn’t – and then she surprised me – I have a cameo role in A Dangerous Crossing under her pen name Rachel Rhys! How cool is that? She kindly sent me the proof a while ago and it was instantly reserved for this post.

dangerous-crossing

Blurb

It was a first class deception that would change her life forever

1939, Europe on the brink of war. Lily Shepherd leaves England on an ocean liner for Australia, escaping her life of drudgery for new horizons. She is instantly seduced by the world onboard: cocktails, black-tie balls and beautiful sunsets. Suddenly, Lily finds herself mingling with people who would otherwise never give her the time of day.

But soon she realizes her glamorous new friends are not what they seem. The rich and hedonistic Max and Eliza Campbell, mysterious and flirtatious Edward, and fascist George are all running away from tragedy and scandal even greater than her own.

By the time the ship docks, two passengers are dead, war has been declared, and life will never be the same again. Amazon

So with a huge thank you to Rachel Rhys especially for her kind words in my signed copy, and in the sincere hope that my small donation will help another young person, I’m eager to see what my cameo role is!

Now the point of Sheila’s post was to collect pictures and unhappily I’ve had a vicious virus since Christmas, so here I am hiding behind A Dangerous Crossing so not to scare you all too much. After all it is New Year’s Day not Halloween!!

read-into-2017

What is your first read of 2017 going to be?

Wishing everyone of you much health, happiness and good books in 2017.

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Cleopatra’s Top 10 Books Published in 2016

top-ten-2016-v-2

Once again I have awarded a whole array of books the magic 5 stars which means whittling this down to a mere ten quite a task indeed, one that I have been pondering since the start of December in fact… so without further ado here are the ten books published in 2016 that I consider to have been truly outstanding and memorable reads.

The books have been listed in no particular order and you can read my full review by clicking on the book covers.

 

A Tapping at my DoorA Tapping At My Door by David Jackson
First up is a book which started with Edgar Allan Poe’s spooky poem The Raven to reveal not only a depth of characterisation but a real sense of the Liverpool setting. This is  a new series, featuring DS Nathan Cody, a detective with a troubled background and a Cop Killer on the loose.  I’m a fan of a good police procedural anyway but this was a deeper exploration than many in this genre. These characteristics may have been the icing on the cake of a fabulous plot which had me gripped throughout.

 

The Ballroom

The Ballroom by Anna Hope
Focusing on three characters who are residents of Sharston Asylum in 1911, The Ballroom was an exceptionally well researched look at life in an asylum as the treatment of those afflicted by mental illness was developing fast. What was far more shocking was the ‘crimes’ committed that may have had you detained at this time. I particularly love books that manage to inform at the same time as entertaining, the main story was never lost throughout the extraordinary amount of detail. In a personal twist Anna Hope dedicated this book to her Gt Gt Grandfather who was admitted to Menston Asylum (the inspiration for this book) in 1909.

 

The Apprentice of Split Crow LaneThe Apprentice of Split Crow Lane: The Story of the Carr’s Hill Murder by Jane Housham
This non-fiction examination of a Victorian crime is among the best I’ve read and also looks at life in an asylum at a slightly earlier time period of 1866. The crime examined is a shocking one, not least because it involves a child and the motive had me stunned. Jane Housham delivers her research in an engaging manner with care taken to look at the characters involved, both victim and accused and their families as well as recreating the setting to enable the reader to have a sometimes all too clear picture of what happened on Carr’s Hill in Gateshead one awful day.

 

house-of-birds The House of Birds by Morgan McCarthy
So I move onto my choice for historical fiction and it is a while since I’ve read such a well-constructed dual time-line novel. With both parts, the modern time featuring Oliver and Kate, and the past in 1920s Oxford featuring the downtrodden wife Sophia and her love of books, The House of Birds had me gripped in both halves. Whilst the narrative isn’t fast-moving, the language is beautiful and the tale told had me running the gamut of emotions because of the fantastically drawn characters. This was one of those books that I lost myself in for the duration, and beyond.

 

The Swimming Pool The Swimming Pool by Louise Candlish
A newly renovated swimming pool is the setting of this latest psychological thriller by Louise Candlish and one which examines female friendship. I really enjoy books that are set over a relatively short period of time, particularly when the characters lives are altered forever by some event, and here in the space of a single summer Natalie’s life is changed by meeting the glamorous Lara. My original review states the dénouement is brutal, it is but brilliantly so!

 

Out of Bounds Out of Bounds by Val McDermid
Val McDermid has used one of my favourite devices in this, the fourth in the DCI Karen Pirie series set in her native Scotland. When a cold case of twenty years is has a breakthrough due to the death of a teenage joyrider, Karen Pirie is determined to find the truth. A brilliant paring with a somewhat dim second in command served well both to provide lighter moments and inform the reader without a hint of patronisation. Reading Out of Bounds  I was reminded of the many shades that this brilliant author injects into her books, whilst delivering a fantastic story.

 

Daisy in Chains Daisy in Chains by Sharon Bolton
Moving swiftly from one reliably brilliant author to another… Sharon Bolton has truly excelled herself in this standalone novel. Told in a linear fashion, no needs for fancy bells and whistles for this book, we meet Hamish Wolfe imprisoned for the murder of three women at HMP in the Isle of Wight. His mother is campaigning for his freedom and enlists true crime writer Maggie Rose. This is a crime novel that goes beyond simple innocence or guilt and justifiably made for compulsive reading. There are characters in Daisy in Chains which I will never forget!

 

The Museum of You The Museum of You by Carys Bray
In a rapid shift away from the darkness, The Museum of You relays the summer Clover Quinn decides to turn her mother’s former bedroom into a display about her life. Clover has never known her mother and the project helps the awkward pre-teen fill her first unsupervised summer. This book had just the right mix of pathos and humour, one of the best depictions of this age group. I fell in love with Clover and the earnest way she builds her display, knowing that she is likely to find some difficult truths along the way. It is a very rare book indeed that makes me shed real tears – this book was one of them!

 

In Her WakeIn Her Wake by Amanda Jennings
I’ve seen In Her Wake featured on many of the top ten book lists doing the rounds this month, and having absolutely been blown away by this original tale, I had to add it to mine too. This wonderful book follows Bella who finds following the death of her parents that her entire life is founded on a lie and decides to discover the truth. Filled with wonderful characters, an enticing premise and beautiful language the story takes in myths and evocative settings resulting in a haunting tale which was delightful to read.

 

Lying in wait Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent
With so much to admire about Lying in Wait from the first killer line ‘My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it.’ to the clever structure whereby we learn all about Lydia and Andrew Fitzsimons through Lydia’s own words, those of her son Laurence and Annie Doyle’s older sister Karen who take it in turns to narrate this novel. Set in 1980s Ireland this book also gave me moments of nostalgia without ever dragging me away from the captivating story. This is a book that should be gone into knowing as little as possible, that way you will get the full benefit of this author’s skilful and surprising plotting.

So what do you think? Have you read any of these titles or do you want to?

I’d like to take a moment to thank all of you who have visited me here on my little corner of the internet, as well of course as the authors and publishers who have provided me with so many great books to read throughout the year. I look forward to discovering new places, people and dark plots in 2017 and do hope you will all join me on my journey.

Happy New Year to one and all!

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Reading Bingo 2016

reading-bingo-small

This is one of my favourite posts of the year so there was no question of me repeating this following my relative success in filling in the squares in both 2014 and 2015

I purposely don’t treat this like a challenge by finding books to fit the squares throughout the year, oh no! I prefer to see which of my (mostly) favourite books will fit from the set I’ve read.  As you can imagine this becomes a bit like one of those moving puzzles where one book is suitable for a number of squares… and then I’m left with empty squares which I have to trawl through the 136 books I’ve read and reviewed to see if any book at all will fit! This keeps me amused for many, many hours so I do hope you all enjoy the result.

Click on the book covers to read my reviews

A Book With More Than 500 Pages

Small Great Things

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult clocks in at 512 pages covering the injustice of a Ruth Jefferson, the only African-American nurse on duty when a baby gets into difficulty. With the parents white supremacists who want to blame someone Ruth is charged with murder. Not a comfortable read and I applaud the author for wanting to address racism and using an absorbing tale to do so.

A Forgotten Classic

Harriet Said

I came late to Beryl Bainbridge so I’m going to count this as a modern classic. I’ve read three of this author’s books so far, my favourite being Harriet Said. The story is based upon a murder case involving two teenaged girls in New Zealand, a case that was also the inspiration for the film Heavenly Creatures. The author creates two young teenage girls using them to reveal the push and pull of their relationship which is ultimately their undoing.

A Book That Became a Movie

Testament of Youth

Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain has lots to recommend it although I admit some of the politics towards the end, went over my head, but the tale of a young woman nursing through World War I, having put her hard one academic ambitions on hold, was incredibly poignant. With the inevitable loss of friends and family her grief for herself and her generation is palpable The film was released in 2014 to great acclaim.

A Book Published This Year

The Ballroom

As a book reviewer I have read lots of books published this year but decided to feature one from my historical fiction selection. The Ballroom by Anna Hope tells the tale of life in an asylum in West Riding, the year being 1911. With a mixture of men and women housed in the asylum the author not only writes us a great story, but has accurately researched what life was like from the perspective of inmates and attendants.

A Book With A Number In The Title

The One in a Million Boy

I give you not one but two numbers in this title: The One in a Million Boy by Monica Wood is a book I denoted  ‘quirky’ but I’m so glad I read it. The story concerns the relationship between Ona Vitkus, a Lithuanian immigrant who has lived in the US since she was just four, and a boy Scout with a passion for the Guinness World Records. Touching without ever being overly sentimental this is one that will linger in my mind for quite some time.

A Book Written by Someone Under Thirty

Fiver Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain

Five Rivers Met On A Wooded Plain was written by Barney Norris who was born in 1987. This book not only touches on the history of Salisbury but weaves stories of five fictional characters in a literary, but oh so readable way. An accomplished novel that doesn’t let an obvious love of language interfere with a great story.

A Book With Non Human Characters

Little Stranger

Well I’m giving you double for your money with this book, not only is there a ghost in The Little Stanger by the fabulous Sarah Waters, there is also a Labrador that plays a key role in the subsequent downfall of the Ayres family. This spooky story is narrated by a country doctor in 1940’s Warwickshire and has plenty of other themes to enjoy even if you, like me, are not a fan of ghostly goings-on.

A Funny Book

A Man With One of those Faces

A Man With One Of Those Faces is a crime fiction novel written by stand-up comedian Caimh McDonnell. I know crime mixed with humour doesn’t sound as if it should work, but it does! A Man With One of Those Faces is full of observational humour with some truly entertaining characters without sacrificing a great plot with a whole heap of action to keep you on the edge of your seat.

A Book By A Female Author

My Husband's Wife

So many great books by so many fab women – in the end I chose My Husband’s Wife by Jane Corry which falls into one of my favourite genres, psychological thrillers of the domestic variety. This tale mixes past and present with a whole heap of flawed characters and is told by two separate narrators Lily and Carla and they reveal more and more about themselves, and those around them. An extremely tense read which was utterly satisfying.

A Book With A Mystery

Pictures of perfection.jxr

What better mystery can there be than that of a missing policeman on Dalziel’s patch? Pictures of Perfection is the fourteenth in the Dalziel & Pascoe series written by the outstandingly talented Reginald Hill and this book was an absolute delight to read. With a horrific opening scene, the book then switches to the more genteel setting of a country fair in 1980s rural Yorkshire. Fear not though this isn’t window dressing, the plot is superb with a proper mystery to be solved.

A Book With A One Word Title

Viral

Like last year I have read six books that have a single word as their title but I have chosen Viral by Helen Fitzgerald because of the very contemporary storyline. Viral examines what happens when a sex act carried out in Magaluf ends up online for all Su Oliphant-Brotheridge’s friends and family to see but despite that taster, this story didn’t go in the direction I expected it to.

 A Book of Short Stories

manipulated-lives

Manipulated Lives by H.A. Leuschel is a collection of five novellas all looking at manipulators and the effect on the lives of those they choose to manipulate. The author picked five different characters and settings to explore this theme and I have to admit, not being a huge fan of short stories, the common thread was far more appealing to me than some other collections.

 Free Square

Lying in wait

For my free square this year I have decided to go with the book with the best opening sentence; Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent:
My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it.’
With the rest of this book more than living up to the first line there was so much to love not only does the author keep the tension stretched as taut as could be, despite that opening revelation we have a wonderful Irish setting as background.

A Book Set On A Different Continent

The Woman on the Orient Express

The Woman on the Orient Express by Lindsay Jayne Ashford is a novel that ends up in Baghdad recreating a trip to an archaeology dig that Agatha Christie made following the divorce from her first husband. This wasn’t so much of a mystery rather a historical novel using Agatha Christie herself as the centre of the story of three woman all making this trip for very different reasons. An unusual and rewarding read with an exotic setting along with a fantastic mode of transport.

A Book of Non-Fiction

Did She Kill Him

I have read some brilliant non-fiction books, mostly about murders, and a fair proportion about poisoners, my interest (or obsession) of the year, so I am going with Did She Kill Him? by Kate Colquhoun. Florence Maybrick is the subject of this book, a middle-class woman living in Liverpool in 1889 when she stood trial for the murder, by arsenic, of her husband. While the majority of the book is relatively sympathetic to Florence, the author cleverly takes apart the arguments in the last section leaving the reader to make up their own mind if she was guilty or not.

The First Book By A Favourite Author

In Bitter Chill

I enjoyed In Bitter Chill by Sarah Ward so much earlier in the year that I had to buy the second in the series, A Deadly Thaw. The setting in Bampton Derbyshire was stunning which made the awful tale of the disappearance of two girls back in 1978 all the more shocking, especially as only one of those girls returned home. Rachel Jones went  home but now an adult a suicide prompts her to find out what really happened all those years ago.

A Book I Heard About Online

The Versions of Us

Since blogging I find most of my new author finds on-line and to be honest, it is fairly easy to persuade me I must read crime fiction or psychological thrillers, I’m more resistant to other genres. But all the rave reviews about The Versions of Us by Laura Bennett, a sliding-doors novel had me intrigued – and what a great find this was. The incident that kicks off the three different lives in The Versions of Us is a student falling off her bike whilst studying at Cambridge University in October 1958 and the three tales that follow are all equally brilliant. This was an absorbing read especially taking into consideration the complicated structure.

A Best Selling Book

Love You Dead

Peter James’ Roy Grace series consistently makes the best seller list, and also happens to be my favourite police procedural series so it is only right and fitting that Love You Dead is featured for this square. For those of you who also enjoy not only the mystery but also reading about Roy Grace (and his beautiful wife, Cleo), some key story arcs are cleared up in this, the twelfth book in the series. Mystery fans don’t need to worry either, the key plot is a good one featuring a pretty woman at its heart.

A Book Based Upon A True Story

Buriel Rites

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent turned out to be one of my favourite reads of the year! With the Icelandic landscape as a backdrop to Agnes Magnúsdóttir’s final months awaiting trial for the murder of two men, we see the family she had been sent to stay with learning to adjust to the stranger in their midst. Be warned if you haven’t read this book, it is devastating, I had grown to love Agnes and yet her fate was sealed and no amount of wishing can change the course of history.

A Book At the Bottom Of Your To Be Read Pile

The Mistake

The Mistake by Wendy James is a book inspired by a true event rather than based upon it and one that had been on my TBR for a couple of years.  In The Mistake we meet Jodi Garrow whose comfortable life as the wife of a lawyer unravels when a nurse in a small town hospital remembers her from years before when she gave birth to a little girl, there is no sign of that baby and Jodi does her best to cover up the truth but the media are determined to find the truth.

 A Book Your Friend Loves

blood-lines

I introduced a friend to the wonders of DI Kim Stone this year and she loved the series, in fact, despite not being a book blogger, she told me about the upcoming release of Blood Lines by Angela Marsons before I knew it was happening!  This series goes from strength to strength and her characterisation underpins a fantastic multi-stranded mystery as our protagonist tries to find the link between the stabbing of a compassionate, well-loved woman and a prostitute.

A Book That Scares You

A Tapping at my Door

I rarely get scared by a book but from the opening excerpt of The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe this book had me well and truly spooked by A Tapping At My Door by David Jackson. With opening scenes of a woman hearing a tapping sound, I was glad I wasn’t reading this on a dark night on my own. But this isn’t just a spooky police procedural, it is incredibly clever – I can’t tell you exactly how as that would spoil it but this was a book with a superb plot, probably one of the best I’ve read this year. That with a lively and interesting character in DS Nathan Cody, a Liverpool setting and more than a dash of humour, means it was an all-round great read.

A Book That Is More Than 10 Years Old

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

I decided to pick the oldest book that I’ve read this year and this one was first published in 1926 so in fact 90 years old; The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is considered by many to be one of the best written by Agatha Christie and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this book narrated by a doctor and one of my very favourite detectives, Monsieur Poirot leading the search for the murderer of Roger Ackroyd, killed in his very own study if you please – oh and of course the door was locked!

The Second Book In A Series

the-kill-fee

I have a love of 1920s London and Fiona Veitch Smith’s creation Poppy Denby, journalist at The Daily Globe had her second outing in The Kill Fee, this year. The mystery had its roots in Russia and the revolution and Poppy romps her way around extricating herself from ever more tricky circumstances made for a delightful and informative read.

A Book With A Blue Cover

The Museum of You

I can’t let this square go without asking has anyone else noticed the increase in blue covers? The one I’ve chosen was my surprise hit of the year; The Museum of You by Carys Bray – a story about a twelve-year-old girl putting together an exhibition about her mother wouldn’t normally make it onto the TBR, let alone be loved so much… but the lack of overt sentimentality in this book along with an exceptional array of characters made it a firm favourite for 2016.

Well look at that, for the first time ever I have completed every square!

How about you? How much of the card could you fill in? Please share!

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TBR Book Tag by Ian Hobbs @BookDevon

TBR Count

Following on from my TBR Book Tag of yesterday I’m delighted that fellow tweeter Ian Hobbs of The Devon Book Club has added his answers to Goodreads, as he doesn’t have a blog I’m sharing his responses here

How do you keep track of your TBR pile?
I was maintaining two lists – one on Goodreads and one on Word but, looking at them today, I decided to amalgamate them into an Excel spreadsheet. I have separate columns for books that I hold in hard copy, ones that I have on Kindle and ones that are just books I intend to read at some point but don’t yet have a copy of. And, of course, a column for Devon authors.

Is your TBR mostly print or e-book?

A mixture.
I have 190 books on my list (oh dear!)
Of these, 29 are on Kindle

A book that’s been on your TBR the longest?

I am shocked to say that Don Quixote has been there since December 2012 – but it will be read in 2016 – that is a promise.
Incidentally, Cleo – I read The Room two years ago and really enjoyed it. Go for It!

A book you recently added to your TBR?

A Strangeness in My Mind by Orhan Pamuk    

a-strangeness-in-my-mind

A Strangeness In My Mind is a novel Orhan Pamuk has worked on for six years. It is the story of boza seller Mevlut, the woman to whom he wrote three years’ worth of love letters, and their life in Istanbul.
In the four decades between 1969 and 2012, Mevlut works a number of different jobs on the streets of Istanbul, from selling yoghurt and cooked rice, to guarding a car park. He observes many different kinds of people thronging the streets, he watches most of the city get demolished and re-built, and he sees migrants from Anatolia making a fortune; at the same time, he witnesses all of the transformative moments, political clashes, and military coups that shape the country. He always wonders what it is that separates him from everyone else – the source of that strangeness in his mind. But he never stops selling boza during winter evenings and trying to understand who his beloved really is.
What matters more in love: what we wish for, or what our fate has in store? Do our choices dictate whether we will be happy or not, or are these things determined by forces beyond our control?
A Strangeness In My Mind tries to answer these questions while portraying the tensions between urban life and family life, and the fury and helplessness of women inside their homes. Amazon

A book on your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover?
I don’t have one just because of its cover but I do love the cover on Tan Twan Eng’s The Garden of Evening Mists

tan-twan-engIn the highlands of Malaya, a woman sets out to build a memorial to her sister, killed at the hands of the Japanese during the brutal Occupation of their country. Yun Ling’s quest leads her to The Garden of Evening Mists, and to Aritomo, a man of extraordinary skill and reputation, once the gardener of the Emperor of Japan. When she accepts his offer to become his apprentice, she begins a journey into her past, inextricably linked with the secrets of her troubled country’s history.

 

A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading?
Not that I own – in updating my list I did delete a couple that I couldn’t realise why I had added them and, on looking again, they didn’t really appeal – must have been someone else’s recommendation.

A book on your TBR that everyone has read but you?

Ironically – it would also be All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – I’ll get to it eventually

All The Light We Cannot See

A beautiful, stunningly ambitious novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II

Marie-Laure has been blind since the age of six. Her father builds a perfect miniature of their Paris neighbourhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. But when the Nazis invade, father and daughter flee with a dangerous secret.

Werner is a German orphan, destined to labour in the same mine that claimed his father’s life, until he discovers a knack for engineering. His talent wins him a place at a brutal military academy, but his way out of obscurity is built on suffering.

At the same time, far away in a walled city by the sea, an old man discovers new worlds without ever setting foot outside his home. But all around him, impending danger closes in

Doerr’s combination of soaring imagination and meticulous observation is electric. As Europe is engulfed by war and lives collide unpredictably, ‘All The Light We Cannot See’ is a captivating and devastating elegy for innocence. Amazon

 

A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you?

Not really but, perhaps Elena Ferrante’s The Story of a New Name
I read the first and loved it bit have not yet got to this one – aim to do so over Xmas.

the-story-of-a-new-nam

A book on your TBR that you’re dying to read?

The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng

the-gift-of-rainPenang, 1939, sixteen-year-old Philip Hutton is a loner. Half English, half Chinese and feeling neither, he discovers a sense of belonging in an unexpected friendship with Hayato Endo, a Japanese diplomat. Philip shows his new friend around his adored island of Penang, and in return Endo trains him in the art and discipline of aikido. But such knowledge comes at a terrible price. The enigmatic Endo is bound by disciplines of his own and when the Japanese invade Malaya, threatening to destroy Philip’s family and everything he loves, he realises that his trusted sensei – to whom he owes absolute loyalty – has been harbouring a devastating secret. Philip must risk everything in an attempt to save those he has placed in mortal danger and discover who and what he really is. With masterful and gorgeous narrative, replete with exotic and captivating images, sounds and aromas – of rain swept beaches, magical mountain temples, pungent spice warehouses, opulent colonial ballrooms and fetid and forbidding rainforests – Tan Twan Eng weaves a haunting and unforgettable story of betrayal, barbaric cruelty, steadfast courage and enduring love. Amazon

How many books are in your Goodreads TBR shelf?

Well, 190 books that are on my reading list, of which I have
39 in hard copy
29 on Kindle
And the others I borrow from the library or buy them as I go

So Ian has thrown down the gauntlet! Who else is brave enough?

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The TBR Book Tag or Some Things Never Change

PicMonkey Collage TBR

 

On 6 November 2015 I put on my big girl pants and tackled the TBR tag which I saw on  The Quirky Book Nerd,  in a bid to get a grip on just how many books were sitting on the TBR, especially focussing on those books I already own.

So a year on, having exercised my willpower on a daily basis, I thought it would be interesting to answer the questions again and to reveal just how well my TBR Reduction plan has been working! You can read last year’s answers here.

How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

My TBR books are all listed on an excel spreadsheet, a tab for physical books, one for those on my kindle and lastly one for NetGalley approved books. There is of course, a colour code, required because some on the first two tabs are also review copies – and this has made the biggest difference, each Sunday, I publish the total. I can hear you all cheering with approval, those measures are guaranteed to make a huge difference.

Is your TBR mostly print or e-book?

My TBR  is mainly print books. Over the last year or so if given the choice I prefer print books, don’t get me wrong, I love my kindle especially for portability, but after a few years of reading mainly e-books, I seem to hanker over the more traditional variety.

How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

I have a good old spreadsheet, books for review get put on the tab of the month they are published (10 slots per month) and then if there is any space in the last few days of the preceding month I fill it with books that I’ve been given after publication date or choices from my own shelves. I then shuffle books endlessly backwards and forwards while looking anxiously at the ‘anticipated finish reading dates’ to see if I can squeeze this extra one in that has popped through the door or somehow been requested from NetGalley.

A book that’s been on your TBR the longest?

It was this question that made me think that redoing this tag was a worthwhile exercise: The answer is exactly the same!

Room by Emma Donoghue has been on my kindle since very soon after it was published in 2011, I still really want to read it, I will read it!

Room

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it’s where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.
Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it’s not enough…not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son’s bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.
Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another. Goodreads

A book you recently added to your TBR?

Last year my answer was  Are You My Mother by Louise Voss

Are you my mother

 

From the age of nineteen, Emma Victor has had to bring up her much younger sister Stella. It has shaped both their lives. Now Stella is almost grown up, and Emma’s nurturing instincts extend to her work as an aromatherapist, and inform her relationship with the unreliable but irresistible Gavin. But something is missing, and Emma has to confront her deepest need – a need she’s been denying for years – and embark on a search for her birth mother.
ARE YOU MY MOTHER? chronicles Emma’s search for her birth mother and for a sense of her own place in the world in this compelling, funny and profoundly moving novel about love, identity and the need to belong Amazon

Yes – you’ve guessed it, this is also still on the TBR.

This year my latest addition is A Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys which arrived yesterday but not due to be published until April 2017.

It was a first class deception that would change her life foreverdangerous-crossing

1939, Europe on the brink of war. Lily Shepherd leaves England on an ocean liner for Australia, escaping her life of drudgery for new horizons. She is instantly seduced by the world onboard: cocktails, black-tie balls and beautiful sunsets. Suddenly, Lily finds herself mingling with people who would otherwise never give her the time of day.

But soon she realizes her glamorous new friends are not what they seem. The rich and hedonistic Max and Eliza Campbell, mysterious and flirtatious Edward, and fascist George are all running away from tragedy and scandal even greater than her own.

By the time the ship docks, two passengers are dead, war has been declared, and life will never be the same again.

A book on your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover?

While covers may draw me to look at the content I don’t choose by cover, although I have noticed that certainly some psychological thrillers are sporting more eye-pleasing jackets than has previously been the case, generally crime fiction and poisoners, don’t get pretty covers.

A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading?

No, if I’d found any books that I didn’t plan on reading they would have gone in the donation bag for the charity shop.

An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for?

I did read and review Beside Myself by Ann Morgan which was my answer last year – this year my most anticipated read is by one of my favourite authors, Erin Kelly with her latest novel He Said/She Said, I’m over the moon to have a copy of this which isn’t due to be published until May 2017.

he-said-she-saidHe said it was consensual.
The woman said nothing.
But Laura saw it…
… didn’t she?

In the hushed aftermath of a total eclipse, Laura and Kit interrupt something awful.

Laura is sure about what happened. Later, in a panic, she tells a little white lie – and four lives are changed irreparably.

When the victim turns up on their doorstep, her gratitude spills into dangerous obsession. Laura and Kit decide to run – but Beth knows they have pledged to see every eclipse together. They will never be able to entirely escape her.

As the next eclipse draws near, Laura must confront the fallout from what she saw in the darkness. Confessing will cost her marriage; keeping the secret might prove fatal.

But all secrets, sooner or later, will come to light. Amazon

A book on your TBR that everyone has read but you?

Last year my pick was All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doeer– and I finally read this in December of last year!
This year I think I’ll choose (of the loads of books that fall into this category) Cry Baby by David Jackson – I have decided to start this series and read the first, Pariah, recently, so only two to read before this one!

Cry Baby
It’s every mother’s nightmare – the abduction of her baby, That’s how it starts for Erin Vogel when she is attacked and left unconscious in her apartment. When she awakes, it is to find that Georgia, her six-month-old daughter, has been taken.

But Erin is given a chance to get Georgia back. At an unthinkable price.

Like most mothers, she has always said she would do anything for her child. Now the strength of that bond is about to be put to the ultimate test.

And when her actions arouse the interest of a certain Detective Callum Doyle, one thing is inevitable: a confrontation that will be as explosive as it is unforgettable.

From the highly acclaimed author of Pariah, The Helper and Marked comes a nerve-shredding novel that questions the line we draw between good and evil. Amazon

A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you?
I love it when other bloggers recommend books to me and I have a heap that fall into this category – the one that is outside my normal reading genre that is on my TBR to be read is My Name is Leon by Kit der Waal.

My Name is Leon

A brother chosen. A brother left behind. And a family where you’d least expect to find one.

Leon is nine, and has a perfect baby brother called Jake. They have gone to live with Maureen, who has fuzzy red hair like a halo, and a belly like Father Christmas. But the adults are speaking in low voices, and wearing Pretend faces. They are threatening to give Jake to strangers. Since Jake is white and Leon is not.

As Leon struggles to cope with his anger, certain things can still make him smile – like Curly Wurlys, riding his bike fast downhill, burying his hands deep in the soil, hanging out with Tufty (who reminds him of his dad), and stealing enough coins so that one day he can rescue Jake and his mum.

Evoking a Britain of the early eighties, My Name is Leon is a heart-breaking story of love, identity and learning to overcome unbearable loss. Of the fierce bond between siblings. And how – just when we least expect it – we manage to find our way home. Amazon

A book on your TBR that you’re dying to read?
I’m not sure how I’m supposed to chose just one, after all they are all on my TBR because I want to read them but the book I pick is from my genre of the year – poisoners and because I’ve gone for the literal interpretation of this question. I give you Poison Panic by Helen Barrell

poison-panic

For a few years in the 1840s, Essex was notorious in the minds of Victorians as a place where women stalked the winding country lanes looking for their next victim to poison with arsenic. It’s a terrible image – and also one that doesn’t seem to have much basis in truth – but this was a time of great anxiety.
The 1840s were also known as the ‘hungry ’40s’, when crop failures pushed up food prices and there was popular unrest across Europe. The decade culminated in a cholera epidemic in which tens of thousands of people in the British Isles died. It is perhaps no surprise that people living through that troubled decade were captivated by the stories of the ‘poisoners’: that death was down to ‘white powder’ and the evil intentions of the human heart.
Sarah Chesham, Mary May and Hannah Southgate are the protagonists of this tale of how rural Essex, in a country saturated with arsenic, was touched by the tumultuous 1840s. Amazon

 How many books are in your Goodreads TBR shelf?

Goodreads states this is down from 240 to 216 but as it includes different editions of books I’ve read as well as books I’ve had a fleeting interest in, I prefer to stick by my own count of actual books I own.

The total number of books on the TBR on 6 November 2015 was 173!  This was made up of 82 physical books, 71 e-books and 20 books on NetGalley!
I do have a list of books I want to own which I keep on a Amazon Wishlists.  I had  146 books here too.

This Year … drum roll… the total number of books on 5 November 2016 is 181! I’m really quite impressed, alright, technically it’s not a reduction, but an increase of only a net worth of 8 books in an entire year, I think deserves a round of applause.

This year the total is made up of 95 physical books, 68 e-books and 18 books on NetGalley. My plan of putting things onto my Amazon Wishlists has worked as I have a whopping 206 books here – but as I said, I don’t own them… yet!

So this post is entitled TBR Reduction Plan, from now on I’m designating June and December for reading books already on the TBR (this year will be to get rid of some of the books requested more than 3 months ago from NetGalley – that tab upsets me far too much!) with an absolute minimum of visits to NetGalley during these months and absolutely no purchases at all.

I’m not tagging anyone, but of course I want to feel better about my TBR, so if you have more than 181 books, please share in the comments box below!

Now I’m off to buy a new bookshelf!

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The 100 Book Tag

I have shamelessly stolen this tag from FictionFan’s Book Reviews, one of the earliest connections I made when I started book blogging and a someone whose blog never fails to entertain me. If you haven’t visited you should really do so!

FictionFan came up with the idea to celebrate her 100th post for TBR Thursday and even though this isn’t my 100th post of any description, I decided to do it anyway – and then I realised I am currently standing at 99,907 views to my blog so maybe this will be the post that takes me to 100,000 views which would be kind of neat!

So onto the questions:

What is the 100th book on your TBR list? (In the unlikely event that you don’t have 100 books on your TBR, what book’s been on there longest?)

The Room Beyond Stephanie Elmas 18-Oct-13

the-room-beyond

Blurb

When Serena begins a new life working for the Hartreve family at 36 Marguerite Avenue she falls in love, not just with its eccentric and alluring inhabitants and their world, but with the house itself. Number 36 is a beautiful Victorian London mansion that has remained in the family for generations. Serena feels that by being here she has escaped the ghosts of her own sad childhood and found a true home, but she soon discovers that behind its gleaming surfaces Marguerite Avenue is plagued by secrets and mystery. Why does such a beautiful tranquil street seem sometimes to shimmer with menace? Is everyone in the family quite who they appear to be? And just what is it that the family is trying to hide from her?

It is 1892. On a hot summer night scented with jasmine, Miranda Whitestone hosts a dinner party at 34 Marguerite Avenue. Watching helplessly as her husband is seduced by her glamorous neighbour Lucinda Eden, she can have no idea of the consequences the evening will have.

For the history of Marguerite Avenue is more chilling than Serena could have imagined, and the fates of two women – the beautiful renegade Lucinda and the ‘good wife’ Miranda – will reach out from the past to cast a shadow over Serena’s own future.

The Room Beyond is a thriller that delves beneath the romance and grandeur of a London house and finds a family haunted by the legacy of past wrongdoings. As the suspense grows and the fog thickens, will Serena be able to give up all that she has come to love? Will she ever escape? Amazon

Open your current book to page 100 (or randomly, if you don’t have page numbers on your e-reader) and quote a few sentences that you like.

From My Sister’s Bones by Nuala Ellwood the synopsis is available here

my-sisters-bones
‘Ha. As close as you can get to a feisty teenage girl.’ He laughs hollowly. ‘She was thirteen when I got together with Sal. Do you remember they were living with your mum?’
‘Yes,’ I say, smiling. ‘I remember Sally called me and said she’d met this gorgeous guy over the garden fence and I thought she’d lost her mind because the only guy I remember living next door was this bloke called Mr Matthews and he was about ninety’

When you are 100, what author(s) do you know you will still be re-reading regularly? (This should be an easy one for those of you who are already over 100…)

I’m hoping to have retired by the time I’m 100 and will spend all day reading all those books I keep saying I want to re-read but at the rate they keep putting up the pensionable age I’m not sure… In the spirit of optimism I think I’ll be reading Reginald Hill, and Agatha Christie for sure, and I will have enough time to seriously enjoy Charles Dickens again. As you can probably tell, I am collecting books already on the TBR for a time, a necessary precaution in light of this week’s close call when I declared that I definitely hadn’t requested one book that had arrived on the doormat. Shock horror –  I found it put back in its envelope with a big message stating Cleo doesn’t want any more books!! Disaster was fortunately averted, but you can see how easy it could be to get a telegram from the Queen (or probably King) and not have any books left on the TBR.

telegram

Link to your 100th post (if you’re a new blogger then link to your tenth post, or any one you like). Do you still agree with what you said back then?

My 100th post was a review of  The Stranger You Know by Jane Casey which I thoroughly enjoyed – and yes I still agree with the review although it is an awful lot briefer than the ones I do now, although it also possesses a very long sentence or two!

The Stranger You Know

This is a solid good read, the plot holds together well with Jane Casey weaving the story with wry humour and clever observations through a number of characters, both suspects and witnesses, time periods and across London boroughs.

Name a book you love that has less than 100 pages. Why do you love it?

A book with less than 100 pages?!? Isn’t that called a pamphlet?

If someone gave you £100, what would be the five books you would rush to buy? (Should there be any change, please consider contributing it to the FictionFan Home for Unwanted Chocolate…)

100-pound-of-books

This is my choice (today) which has had me considering all 204 items on my wishlist and deciding that none of them could be removed – Dear Reader, this is how hours of my life disappear in pleasant anticipation!

American Heiress by Jeffrey Toobin looks like a spectacular true crime read but it is ridiculously expensive, even in paperback so that magic £100 would come in helpful here.

After the sheer brilliance of Burial Rites by Hannah Kent I’m so looking forward to reading The Good People next year.

I’ve heard brilliant things about Magpie Murders by Andrew Horowitz and I don’t have many red books on my bookshelves!

The Two Family House by Lynda Loigman Cohen  sounds very appealing and different to my regular reads but is also very expensive.

The Ripper of Waterloo Road: The Murder of Eliza Grimwood in 1838 by Jan Bondeson isn’t out until January 2017 but I will be getting a copy of this by a seasoned true crime writer.

What book do you expect to be reading 100 days from now?

My spreadsheet for February currently contains just four titles and out of those I think I will be settling down to read one of my favourite authors latest books He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly.

he-said-she-said

Blurb

He said it was consensual.
The woman said nothing.
But Laura saw it…
… didn’t she?

In the hushed aftermath of a total eclipse, Laura and Kit interrupt something awful.
Laura is sure about what happened. Later, in a panic, she tells a little white lie – and four lives are changed irreparably.
When the victim turns up on their doorstep, her gratitude spills into dangerous obsession. Laura and Kit decide to run – but Beth knows they have pledged to see every eclipse together. They will never be able to entirely escape her.
As the next eclipse draws near, Laura must confront the fallout from what she saw in the darkness. Confessing will cost her marriage; keeping the secret might prove fatal.
But all secrets, sooner or later, will come to light. Amazon

 

Looking at The Guardian’s list of “The 100 greatest novels of all time”, how many have you read? Of the ones you haven’t, which ones would you most like to read? And which will you never read?

Well I’ve only read about 3o of these books but I already have two on my TBR:

The Bottle Factory Outing by Beryl Bainbridge

The Quiet American by Graham Green

I’m was tempted to add The Executioner’s Song by Norman Mailer until I saw that it topped 1,000 pages so maybe that’s another book to read when I am 100!

I will never, ever read Moby Dick by Herman Melville

Free Question

Which book do you think 100 children (all children) should have read to them?

Peepo by Alan and Janet Ahlberg


peepohe-sees-his-fatherfather-in-bed

This delightful story told in rhyme is full of equally exquisite illustrations and having just ‘looked inside’ the book on Amazon, I’m fairly sure I can recite the whole book. If you know someone with a small child, you really can’t go wrong with this book – in fact I reckon by the time I am 100, I will have bought 100 copies of this book!

So that’s my answers for the 100 Book Tag and I want to say a huge thank you to FictionFan for making me review my books in such a fun way.

Like the creator I tag the first 100 people to read this post…

That means YOU!

book-emoji

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Flash Fiction Battle: Let the Voting Commence! #HorrorOctober #VoteNow

horror-october-flash-fiction

Welcome to Horror October 2016’s main event: The Flash Fiction Battle from Lipsyy Lost & Found

At the beginning of the month, you voted in your masses for your favourite horror story prompt, and the winner was ‘3 AM. Full Dark. One Sound’. The participating writers rose to the challenge with aplomb and now it’s time for you to vote for your favourite!

You can find the entries here to make your choice

Entry #1: The Secret Of The Basement by Lily Luchesi

Entry #2: Come in Here by Stevie Kopas

Entry #3: The Quiet Life byy Stephen Kozeniewski

Entry #4: Wake Up Mommy by A. Giacomi
Voting closes on the 28th October