Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (December 16)

This Week In Books

Hosted by Lypsyy Lost & Found my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I am reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words

At the moment I am reading The Secret Rooms by Catherine Bailey, one of the books I bought on my relatively recent trip to Bath.

The Secret Rooms

You can read the synopsis and a taster from this book in yesterday’s post

I have recently finished The Life ProjectThe Life Project: The Extraordinary Story of 70,000 Ordinary Livesby Helen Pearson, a fascinating non-fiction book that delves into four ongoing-projects that follow a selection of people’s lives from birth onwards

The Life Project

Blurb

On 5th March 1946 a survey began that is, today, the longest-running study of human development in the world, and has grown to encompass six generations of children and over 70,000 people. They have become some of the best-studied people on the planet. The simple act of observing human life has changed the way we are born, schooled, parent and die, and irrevocably altered our understanding of inequality and health. This is the tale of these studies, the scientists who created and sustain them, the discoveries that have come from them. The envy of scientists around the world, they are one of Britain’s best-kept secrets.

The Life Project will be published on 3 March 2016,

My review will follow soon.

Next up has to be And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie after I finally found a decent second-hand copy I now need to re-read it before the TV adaption on Boxing Day.

And then there were none

Blurb

Ten strangers, apparently with little in common, are lured to an island mansion off the coast of Devon by the mysterious U.N.Owen. Over dinner, a record begins to play, and the voice of an unseen host accuses each person of hiding a guilty secret. That evening, former reckless driver Tony Marston is found murdered by a deadly dose of cyanide.
The tension escalates as the survivors realise the killer is not only among them but is preparing to strike again… and again… Amazon

What are you reading this week? Do share!

See what I’ve been reading in 2015 here

Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (December 15)

First Chapter

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening. Feel free to grab the banner and play along.

My opening this week comes from The Secret Rooms: A castle filled with intrigue, a plotting duchess and a mysterious death by  Catherine Bailey.

The Secret Rooms

Blurb

At 6 am on 21 April 1940 John the 9th Duke of Rutland, and one of Britain’s wealthiest men, ended his days, virtually alone, lying on a makeshift bed in a dank cramped suite of rooms in the servants’ quarters of his own home, Belvoir Castle, in Leicestershire.
For weeks, as his health deteriorated, his family, his servants – even the King’s doctor – pleaded with him to come out, but he refused.
After his death, his son and heir, Charles, the 10th Duke of Rutland, ordered that the rooms be locked up and they remained untouched for sixty years.
What lay behind this extraordinary set of circumstances?
For the first time, in The Secret Rooms, Catherine Bailey unravels a complex and compelling tale of love, honour and betrayal, played out in the grand salons of Britain’s stately homes at the turn of the twentieth century, and on the battlefields of the Western Front. At its core is a secret so dark that it consumed the life of the man who fought to his death to keep it hidden. Amazon

~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

PART 1
18 – 27 April 1940

Two doctors were already at the castle; a third, Lord Dawson, Physician to King George VI, was expected. It was mid-morning on Thursday 18 April 1940 and they were gathered at the entrance to a suite of rooms. The door leading into them was made of polished of gunmetal, it was the type used to secure a walk-in safe.
The door was firmly closed.

So what do you think? Do you want to know more?

If you have an opening to share, please leave your link in the comments box below.

Posted in Weekly Posts

Stacking the Shelves (October 17)

Stacking the shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves, be it buying or borrowing. From ‘real’ books you’ve purchased, a book you’ve borrowed, a book you’ve been given or an e-book they can all be shared.

My trip to Bath last week was a wonderful and much needed break and Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights was fabulous, while I was there a lady was having one of the reading spas, the depth of knowledge and passion displayed while explaining the choices made meant that there was no doubt that this is a shop full of staff who truly love books. Bath Mr Bs

One of the suggestions was Pascal Garnier‘s The Front Seat Passenger and by coincidence I have a copy of The A26 to read from NetGalley.

The A26

Blurb

The future is on its way to Picardy with the construction of a huge motorway. But nearby is a house where nothing has changed since 1945. Traumatised by events that year, Yolande hasn’t left her home since. And life has not been kinder to Bernard, her brother, who is now in the final months of a terminal illness. Realizing that he has so little time left, Bernard’s gloom suddenly lifts. With no longer anything to lose, he becomes reckless – and murderous. NetGalley

I’m keen to see what else this author has to offer after being delighted by the language in Boxes by the same author.

Whilst browsing in the shop, mindful that I only had a carry-on bag for the flight home, I narrowed my book choices to a mere three books! Next time, and there will be another visit, not just for the books, Bath is beautiful, the boat tour was delightful and I have never been to a Spa with a view like the Thermae Baths.

Bath Thermae Spa

The Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain is a book I’ve been meaning to read for quite some time and was begging to be purchased.

Testament of Youth

Blurb

In 1914 Vera Brittain was eighteen and, as war was declared, she was preparing to study at Oxford. Four years later her life – and the life of her whole generation – had changed in a way that was unimaginable in the tranquil pre-war era.
TESTAMENT OF YOUTH, one of the most famous autobiographies of the First World War, is Brittain’s account of how she survived the period; how she lost the man she loved; how she nursed the wounded and how she emerged into an altered world. A passionate record of a lost generation, it made Vera Brittain one of the best-loved writers of her time. Amazon

I also picked up The Secret Rooms by Catherine Bailey, a book I’d never heard of but sounds just my kind of read – this is the beauty of a well-stocked independent bookshop, I love newly published books but sometimes it is good to find treasures that have been missed.

The Secret Rooms

Blurb

At 6 am on 21 April 1940 John the 9th Duke of Rutland, and one of Britain’s wealthiest men, ended his days, virtually alone, lying on a makeshift bed in a dank cramped suite of rooms in the servants’ quarters of his own home, Belvoir Castle, in Leicestershire.
For weeks, as his health deteriorated, his family, his servants – even the King’s doctor – pleaded with him to come out, but he refused.
After his death, his son and heir, Charles, the 10th Duke of Rutland, ordered that the rooms be locked up and they remained untouched for sixty years.
What lay behind this extraordinary set of circumstances?
For the first time, in The Secret Rooms, Catherine Bailey unravels a complex and compelling tale of love, honour and betrayal, played out in the grand salons of Britain’s stately homes at the turn of the twentieth century, and on the battlefields of the Western Front. At its core is a secret so dark that it consumed the life of the man who fought to his death to keep it hidden. This extraordinary mystery from the author of Black Diamonds, perfect for lovers of Downton Abbey, Brideshead Revisited and The Suspicions of Mr Whicher. Goodreads

Having recently been delighted by Sarah Waters novel The Night Watch, I decided to pick up The Little Stranger.

The Little Strange

Blurb

The Little Stranger follows the strange adventures of Dr Faraday, the son of a maid who has built a life of quiet respectability as a country doctor. One dusty post war summer in his home of rural Warwickshire, he is called to a patient at Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family for more than two centuries, the Georgian house, once grand and handsome, is now in decline, its masonry crumbling, its gardens choked with weeds, the clock in its stable yard permanently fixed at twenty to nine. But are the Ayreses haunted by something more ominous than a dying way of life? Little does Dr Faraday know how closely, and how terrifyingly, their story is about to become entwined with his. Goodreads

Of course now the charge for plastic bags has been introduced in England (something that we have had in Jersey since 2008) I bought myself a canvas bag to hold my precious purchases and to remind myself of a wonderful visit.

Finally, but by no means last for my finds for this week, I have a copy of Lost Girls by Angela Marsons, whose previous books Silent Scream and Evil Games both garnered 5 stars from me. Lost Girls will be published on 6 November 2015

Lost Girls

Blurb

Two girls go missing. Only one will return.
The couple that offers the highest amount will see their daughter again. The losing couple will not. Make no mistake. One child will die.
When nine-year-old best friends Charlie and Amy disappear, two families are plunged into a living nightmare. A text message confirms the unthinkable; that the girls are the victims of a terrifying kidnapping.
And when a second text message pits the two families against each other for the life of their children, the clock starts ticking for D.I. Kim Stone and the squad.
Seemingly outwitted at every turn, as they uncover a trail of bodies, Stone realises that these ruthless killers might be the most deadly she has ever faced. And that their chances of bringing the girls home alive, are getting smaller by the hour…
Untangling a dark web of secrets from the families’ past might hold the key to solving this case. But can Kim stay alive long enough to do so? Or will someone’s child pay the ultimate price? NetGalley

What have you found to read this week? Do share!