Posted in Reviewing Habit

Reading and Reviewing in 2015

Reading Reviewing 2015

Well here we are nearly at the end of 2015 and as usual I will soon be posting my top 10 books published this year – but here is a chance for those books not published this year to have their moment in the spotlight as well as indulging me in my love of facts and figures.

So far I have read, and reviewed 143 books in 2015 which add up to a total of 44,774 pages which tells me 2015 has been spent reading far shorter books but slightly more of them!  Once again I have read some fantastic books, and some that were not quite so good!

What Remains

The Life Projectdreads tells me that the longest book I read was What Remains by Tim Weaver with 562 pages, whilst I am the only person to have read The Life Project by Helen Pearson which will be published next year – it may be non-fiction but this is fascinating stuff and would have easily been the winner of the non-fiction read of the year if it had been published in 2015

The Girl On The Train

725,499 other Goodreads readers also read The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins with me making it far an away the most popular book I read in 2015 and the fourth of the most popular review read by you guys!

Interestingly (for me anyway) the second most popular of my reviews was The Book of You  by Claire Kendal which I actually read in February 2014, a review that still gets a number of hits each week!
The Book of You

This House of GriefOnce again the split in my reading is crime heavy with 82 books equating to 57% falling squarely into the crime fiction or psychological thriller categories but of course they can crime also features in my historical fiction section as well as popping up in the non-fiction category too for example This House of Grief by Helen Garner which is one of the best books I’ve read this year.

 

Sadly despite my best intentions to cut down on the books I have for review and read more from my own (bulging) bookshelves, cupboards, tables…. I only read 34 of my own books in 2015 a mere 24% and not the 40% I was aiming for but I will do better in 2016! I read 10 of these (some belatedly) for Cathy’s 20 Books of Summer which provided some exceptional reading in the form of Dancing for the Hangman by Martin Edwards Dancing for the Hangmanand The Whicharts by Noel Streatfeild, the adult novel that later became the successful Ballet Shoes.  And 2015 was the year I finally got around to reading the epistolary wonder which is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schaffer and Anne Barrows. Not only is this a great read but it accurately portrays the history of the occupation of the Channel Isles.The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel SocietyThe Whicharts

In 2015 I read 71 authors who were new to me, some of these were so good I read more than one book by the author in a year whereas others have simply added to the TBR mountain to be tackled in 2016 (and beyond) One of those authors I should have read way back as it probably is my top ten read of 2015 – The Go-Between by L.P. Hartley simply blew me away! The Go-Betweeen

So there’s a taste of what I’ve been reading and the reviews you’ve seemed to like the best – coming very soon are my chosen top ten reads published in 2015 – you can see all 143 books read and reviewed so far here or for a more compact view check out those books I chose for 2015 book bingo!

I’d like to thank all those authors and publishers who’ve given me a fantastic selection of books, the readers and commenters on this little blog and those who connect with my reviews via twitter, you have all made my world brighter in 2015.
Happy reading everyone and here’s to Happy a New Year full of new books!

Posted in Weekly Posts

Friday Finds (August 1)

Friday Finds Hosted by Should be Reading

FRIDAY FINDS showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).

So, come on — share with us your FRIDAY FINDS!

Well here we are August already and my TBR is still growing exponentially to the rate that I read.

I’ll start, as always, with the approvals I’ve gained from NetGalley and first up is a book I chose following a brilliantly tempting review on FictionFan’s Book Reviews: Traitor’s Storm by MJ Trow, the sixth book it the Kit Marlowe series.  Her comments about the humour in this book caught my attention:

‘There’s lots of humour in the book and although the body count is pretty high there’s nothing gruesome about it – the violence all takes place off-stage’

Traitor's Storm

Blurb

Christopher Marlowe faces the might of the Spanish Armada in the sixth of this intriguing historical mystery series
May, 1588. With Elizabeth I’s court rocked by stories of an imminent invasion and one of his key undercover agents missing, Sir Francis Walsingham despatches Kit Marlowe to the Isle of Wight off the south coast: the first line of defence against the approaching Spanish Armada.
Lodging at Carisbrooke Castle with the Isle of Wight’s Governor, Sir George Carey, Marlowe finds the Islanders a strange and suspicious lot, with their own peculiar customs and dialect. But is there reason to doubt their loyalty to the Crown? And is the Island really haunted, as some believe? Of one thing Marlowe is certain: it’s no ghost behind the series of violent and inexplicable deaths which plague the region. But will he have time to uncover the truth and expose the killer before the might of the Armada descends? Amazon

Next up I have a copy of Quarter Past Two on a Wednesday Afternoon by Linda Newbery which I decided was a book for me after reading an enticing review on Mad about the Books. I am a huge lover of looking back into the social history of recent times so the following quote struck a chord:

‘Sandra’s tale serves to remind us that the 1960s were not a swinging time for everyone and that plenty of ‘Victorian values’ still held sway.’

Quarter Past Two on a Wednesday Afternoon

Blurb

It was the day when everything stopped…
At quarter past two on a hot afternoon in August, Anna’s beautiful, headstrong elder sister Rose disappears.
Twenty years later, Anna still doesn’t know whether Rose is alive or dead. In her early thirties now, she sees her future unfolding – with sensible, serious Martin and a grown-up, steady job – and finds herself wondering if this is what she really wants.
Unable to take control of her life while the mystery of her sister’s disappearance remains unsolved, Anna begins to search for the truth: what did happen to Rose that summer’s day? NetGalley

I bought a copy of Shame by Karin Alvtegen after coming across a review on Ms. Wordopolis Reads which caught my attention, especially the following sentence:

‘she goes deep into the minds of these damaged women and conveys the depths and changes in their feelings very closely’.

Shame

Blurb

Two women trapped by a past that won’t let go . . . At first sight, Monika and Maj-Britt are as different as two people can possibly be. They have nothing in common but the determination to obliterate their memories and be left alone. But when a tragic accident brings them face to face, the emotional voids at the centre of their lives threatens to engulf them and they are forced to confront the secrets and the sadness they had hoped to bury. A suspenseful psychological thriller, Shame reveals the ordinary days of the odd and the lonely as they twist into self-destruction and holds out a glimmering hope of redemption and acceptance. Amazon

I was delighted to receive a copy of The Girl On The Train by debut author Paula Hawkins which is due to be released in January 2015 from the publishers Hatchette, this sounds like just my kind of read!

The Girl On The Train

Blurb

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and every night. Every day she rattles over the same track junctions, flashes past the same stretch of cozy suburban homes. And every day she stops at the same signal and she sees the same couple, breakfasting on their roof deck, living the perfect life that Rachel craves for herself—a lifestyle she recently lost. She looks forward to observing this household every morning, even makes up names and narratives for its residents. Then one day Rachel sees someone new in their garden, and soon after, the woman who lived there disappears.
Unable to keep this information to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and in the process is drawn into the lives of the couple she thought of as Jason and Jess but whose names—she has learned from the news—are really Megan and Scott Hipwell.
But the police accuse Rachel of being unreliable, and it’s true that her memories can’t always be trusted. Plus there are the stories that her ex-husband’s new wife has been spreading about her. By the time Megan’s body is found, Rachel is in over her head, intricately entangled in the details of the investigation, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she put others in danger? Has she done more harm than good? Goodreads

Please share your finds with me.