Posted in #20 Books of Summer 2018

20 Books of Summer 2018! Part 2 #20booksofsummer


On 28 May 2018 I posted my first set of 10 books that I planned to read for this challenge, the idea being that I would post the second selection in mid-July, having read and reviewed the first 10. Dear reader, the plan has gone a little awry!

Anyway I’ve read 9 of my 10 books, reviewed just 4 and have very little reading time so I suspect I won’t finish the second set but here’s what I’m aiming to read.

The links below will take you to the Goodreads description

 

Victorian Murders by Jan Bondeson

Flying Shoes by Lisa Howorth

My Sister and Other Liars by Ruth Dugdall 

Flight by Isabel Ashdown

The Lighthouse by P.D. James

The Poisoner by Stephen Bates 

This Is Not a Novel by Jennifer Johnston 

The Big Picture by Douglas Kennedy 

Lady Bette and the Murder of Mr Thynn by Nigel Pickford

Famous Trials I by Harry Hodge

You can check out the master page which will have the full list of 20 books here

There are so many within this selection that I’m eager to read and since time is of the essence I have a feeling that I will start with P.D. James’s book The Lighthouse.

Do you agree? Where would you start?

Wish me luck…

 

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (April 1)

Happy Easter Sunday to you all, I do hope you’re enjoying plenty of chocolate!

 

I’m using the long weekend to get a bit more reading squeezed in after the distractions of recent weeks.

This Week on the Blog

My week started with my review of A Trick to Time by Kit de Waal, a touching, yet never mawkish. This tale of a doll-maker in Birmingham was brim-full of wonderful characters.

On Tuesday I was on the blog tour for Twin Truths by Shelan Rodger, my post included a piece by the author about our fascination with twins as well as my review for this surprisingly deep book.

This Week in Books really highlighted my aim to read the remaining books on my shelf to be published on Thursday 5 April 2018 featuring Claire McGowan, Vicky Newham and Liz Nugent.

My next review was for a book with letters written to a magazine agony aunt in 1943 – Dear Mrs Bird by AJ Pearce was historical fiction with a difference.

Our House by Louise Candlish received the full five stars in my review. I was amazed at the ease I was drawn into Fiona’s life told via a podcast in which she explains how her house was sold from under her feet. Brilliant!

I returned to crime fiction for my final review of the week. I have followed Claire McGowan’s Paula Maguire series set on the border between Northern and Southern Ireland from the start, and in The Killing House we were treated to the brilliant conclusion to the story arc.

This Time Last Year…

I was reading A Time for Silence by Thorne Moore which is mainly set in Pembrokeshire, Wales. When Lorna finds the farmhouse that her grandparents lived in at the time of World War II, she is shocked to discover that her grandfather had been killed by person, or persons unknown. To distract herself from the grief at the loss of a close friend she decides to find out all she can, but perhaps it would have been better never to have known? This is a book that so accurately evokes a time eloquently capturing the unwritten rules that governed generations which from a contemporary point of view are almost impossible to comprehend. Sarah has no such compunction eager to knock down the walls of silence that have covered up the wrongful death of John and changed the course of the family as they moved away from Pembrokeshire.

You can read my full review here, or click on the book cover.

Blurb

When Sarah, struggling to get over tragedy, stumbles across her grandparents’ ruined farm, it feels as if the house has been waiting for her. She is drawn to their apparently idyllic way of life and starts to look into her family history. Only to learn that her grandfather, Jack, was murdered.

Why has nobody told her? Sarah becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to Gwen and Jack. But are there some family stories that should never be told? Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

Well last week I confirmed that I had spent my three book tokens gained from reading ten books this year from my own shelves and here’s what I bought.

I have Famous Trials I and II by Harry Hodge in their smart green penguin jackets which I bought from World of Books – expect to see more of these creeping onto my bookshelf.

Blurb

Descriptions of four famous murder trials that took place in Great Britain and were famous in their day: Madeleine Smith, whose innocence or guilt has never been solved; Oscar Slater, who was first declared guilty and later proved innocent, with the help of famous figures such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; Hawley Harvey Crippen, a seemingly mild-mannered man who murdered his wife and brutally destroyed her body; and William Palmer, a man from a respectable Victorian family with a taste for the racetrack and murder.

The facts of the four cases and their trials can be found in other places; the pleasure of this little book is in the elegant prose used to retell those facts. Goodreads

Blurb

The four trials recorded in this book are particularly compelling, partly because of the wealth of forensic skills they demonstrate and partly because of the successful piecing together of scanty evidence.

Herbert Armstrong’s generosity with arsenic aroused suspicion as to the true cause of his wife’s death. Field and Gray were two bumbling, inept murderers who failed even to receive the mercy the jury requested. George Smith invented numerous identities and married, deserted or murdered for money, while Ronald True was mentally deranged besides being dangerous and greedy. Goodreads

I also treated myself to a copy of Mrs Woolf and the Servants: The Hidden Heart of Domestic Service by Alison Light after being so impressed with her research into her own family tree and the resultant book Common People.

Blurb

Loathing, anger, shame – and deep affection: Virginia Woolf’s relationship with her servants was central to her life. Like thousands of her fellow Britons she relied on live-in domestics for the most intimate of daily tasks. Her cook and parlour maid relieved her of the burden of housework and without them she might never have become a writer. But unlike many of her contemporaries Virginia Woolf was frequently tormented by her dependence on servants. Uniquely, she explored her violent, often vicious, feelings in her diaries, novels and essays. What, the reader might well wonder, was it like for the servants to live with a mistress who so hated giving her orders, and who could be generous and hostile by turns?

Through the prism of the writer’s life and work, Alison Light explores the volatile, emotional territory which is the hidden history of domestic service. Compared to most employers in Britain between the wars, Leonard and Virginia Woolf were free and easy. Life in the Bloomsbury circle of writers and artists was often fun. Yet despite being liberal in outlook, these were also households where the differences in upbringing and education were acute: employers and servants were still ‘us’ and ‘them’. The women who worked for the Woolfs, like other domestic servants, have usually been relegated to the margins of history, yet unearthing their lives reveals fascinating stories: of Sophie Farrell, the Victorian cook and ‘family treasure’, who ended her days in a London bed-sit; Lottie Hope, the parlour maid, a foundling, who’d been left on a doorstep like a parcel; and Nellie Boxall, the Woolfs’ cook, who was finally dismissed after sixteen years of rows and reconciliations, only to find herself a more glamorous job.

Mrs Woolf and the Servants is a riveting and highly original study of one of Britain’s greatest literary modernists. Ultimately, though, it is also a moving and eloquent testimony to the ways in which individual creativity always needs the support of others. Amazo

From NetGalley, which I need to give up until next Lent, I have been approved to read a copy of The Peacock Summer by Hannah Richell, with one of the most stunning of covers. But it wasn’t only the cover that drew me in, I adored this author’s book The Shadow Year as well as her previous book The Secrets of the Tides. The Peacock Summer will be published on 28 June 2018.

Blurb

If she could reach back through the years and warn the person she once was, what would she say? … What would she say to the ghosts who now inhabit her days? So many of those she has loved are now nothing but dust and memory.’

At twenty-six, Lillian feels trapped by life. Her marriage to Charles Oberon has not turned out the way she expected it would. To her it seems she is just another object captured within the walls of Cloudesley, her husband’s beautiful manor house tucked away high in the Chiltern Hills. But, with a young step-son and a sister to care for, Lillian accepts there is no way out for her. Then Charles makes an arrangement with an enigmatic artist visiting their home and his presence will unbalance everything she thought she knew and understood.

Maggie Oberon ran from the hurt and resentment she caused. Half a world away, in Australia, it was easier to forget, to pretend she didn’t care. But when her elderly grandmother, Lillian, falls ill she must head back to Cloudesley. Forced to face her past, Maggie fights to hold herself and her family’s legacy together as she learns that all she thought was real, all that she held so close, was never as it seemed.

Two summers, decades apart.

Two women whose lives are forever entwined.
And a house that holds the dark secrets that could free them both. Amazon

What have you found to read this week?

tbr-watch

Since my last post I have read 3 books and since I have gained 4 so my TBR has risen to a total of  188
Physical Books – 113
Kindle Books – 54
NetGalley Books –21

I have banked absolutely no book tokens this week and spent 3 so I’m just 1/3 books in credit!