Weekly Wrap-Up (December 15)

Diiiiiiiid ya miss me? 🀣

Technically, I suppose this is more of a monthly wrap-up because it’s been a while. That pesky socialising crap got in the way of writing up these posts. That would have been somewhat okay if the weekends of socialising had actually been the best time ever but no such luck.

One I spent struggling through a migraine, which meant painkillers and no wine and really, being around people without alcohol to drown out the stupidity is tough. The second one ended with blisters on both feet, resulting in yours truly not being able to walk properly for three days and telling those who asked about the odd limping thing that I had sprained my ankle because that sounded infinitely cooler. The third one was spent with … kids. I don’t have any. To be honest, I’m not even particularly fond of them. Yet they seem to gravitate towards me like magnets. On a good day, I can handle these two I’m talking about just fine. But that day, they were proper little germ factories, tad whiny, puking all over. I mean, hey, fun! *facepalm*. Last but not least, weekend of socialising number four. That didn’t start out so well as we arrived to a party quite late and everyone was drunk. Some drunk people are fun. Here though, one couldn’t stop crying because my dog has died and it was really hard not to join in with her. Her husband has wandering hands and I spent most of the evening trying to bat those away. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I despise that kind of behaviour. At least I was in charge of the music so I was just sort of having my own wee party on the sidelines πŸ˜‚

In the midst of all of that, the other half hired some decorators to paint our downstairs ceiling and walls. No hassle for him since he was at work all day. For me though? I spent three days upstairs in my bedroom because obviously our furniture was covered in plastic sheets and I couldn’t actually sit anywhere! And at the end of those really long three days, I realised I didn’t like the colours we picked. 😳

Anyway! To the books because yes, I have actually been reading! My competitive self refuses to fail at the annual Goodreads challenge. If I make it, I will have read 50 books less than last year and a 100 less than the year before that. I’m stunned. I know my reading mojo was as hormonal as it gets but struggling to get to 200 books in the middle of December is utterly shocking for me.

| WHAT I HAVE BEEN READING |

I’m still (only) averaging about four books per week but I’ll take it. After all, it’s way better than nothing, right? I’m quite enjoying not reviewing most of them too. Bad blogger πŸ˜‰. Bar one or two, these were all fantastic books and you might just be seeing some of them again at some point.

| WHAT I HAVE BOUGHT |

That’s quite a low number for me. These were all bought in the last two weeks as well. I was close to putting out an alert for the return of my book buying mojo πŸ˜‚

I’m totally in love with those special Agatha Christie editions and just had to have them. As for Stephen King, apparently I’m supposed to read more of his books. A very wise person said so. 😜

| BOOK POST WHAT LANDED ON MY DOORSTEP |

As a thank you for helping out with the cover reveal, the lovely people at Headline sent me a proof copy of Heatstroke.

| AS FOR THE BLOG |

Hm. Well, I’ve been quite good at keeping up with the “This Week in Books” posts every Wednesday but other than that, it’s been a tad quiet around here. I’m pretty sure that the reviews I’ve posted in the last month or so can be counted on one hand. To be honest, I don’t see that changing any time soon because I am really enjoying grabbing a book from my shelves and just reading it for pleasure. I do have one review coming up before Christmas but that’s it.

Next week, I will be sharing my top 20 favourite stand-alone books of the year. And at some point, I’ll be sharing my most anticipated ones for next year but that list keeps growing on a daily basis and I may need to split it up into parts. If you thought 2019 was a fabulous bookish year, just you wait for next year! It’s going to be awesome! (with regard to books anyway, let’s not even think about all the other shit). I apologise upfront for your out-of-control wish lists πŸ˜‚

That’s a wrap for this week! I have just realised it’s only ten days until Christmas (how the hell did that happen?!) and I haven’t written a single card yet so I suppose I should get on that right away.

Wishing you all a fabulous week and lots of happy reading! xx

This Week in Books (November 27)

Hosted by Lipsy Lost and Found, my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I’m reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words.

| LAST BOOK I FINISHED READING |

Young Fleetwood Shuttleworth, a noblewoman, is with child again. None of her previous pregnancies have borne fruit, and her husband, Richard, is anxious for an heir. Then Fleetwood discovers a hidden doctor’s letter that carries a dire prediction: she will not survive another birth. By chance she meets a midwife named Alice Grey, who promises to help her deliver a healthy baby. But Alice soon stands accused of witchcraft.

Is there more to Alice than meets the eye? Fleetwood must risk everything to prove her innocence. As the two women’s lives become intertwined, the Witch Trials of 1612 loom. Time is running out; both their lives are at stake. Only they know the truth. Only they can save each other.

| THE BOOK I’M CURRENTLY READING |

Consumption has ravaged Louise Pinecroft’s family, leaving her and her father alone and heartbroken. But Dr Pinecroft has plans for a revolutionary experiment: convinced that sea air will prove to be the cure his wife and children needed, he arranges to house a group of prisoners suffering from the same disease in the cliffs beneath his new Cornish home. While he devotes himself to his controversial medical trials, Louise finds herself increasingly discomfited by the strange tales her new maid tells of the fairies that hunt the land, searching for those they can steal away to their realm.

Forty years later, Hester Why arrives at Morvoren House to take up a position as nurse to the now partially paralysed and almost entirely mute Miss Pinecroft. Hester has fled to Cornwall to try and escape her past, but surrounded by superstitious staff enacting bizarre rituals, she soon discovers that her new home may be just as dangerous as her last.

| WHAT I’M (PROBABLY) READING NEXT |

Leah Hamilton is looking for a new life following the tragic deaths of her husband and son. Determined to bury her grief in hard work, and desperate to escape Christmas and the pitying looks of her colleagues, she rushes through the purchase of a run-down Yorkshire farmhouse, arriving just as the snow shrouds her new home.

It may look like a Christmas card, but it’s soon clear it’s not just the house needing renovation; the land is in bad heart too. And Leah’s mind starts playing tricks on her: she hears a child playing in the snow, but although there are snowballs, there are no footprints. Is this the ghost of her son, returned to her? She starts having visions of the farm’s former occupants – the young widow and her son, the cousin who’s wooing her, the maid who shares her secrets and the handsome labourer who’s hanged for the murder of a child, a murder he didn’t commit.

Is Leah strong enough to lay the increasingly malevolent ghosts and find a way to move on? Or will her ashes end up scattered over the now-covered fields?

What do you think of my reading week? Do let me know what you’re reading. I’m always looking for recommendations! Happy reading! xx

Weekly Wrap-Up (November 10)

Well, not exactly a weekly one as it’s been a while but hi, hello, I’m back!

First things first. For those who don’t know, on October 23rd we were sadly forced to say goodbye to this gorgeous wee face.

It’s been a tough couple of weeks. She and I were together pretty much 24/7 for almost 16 years and I feel utterly and completely lost without her. πŸ’”

Books, my usual escape, have not quite been the remedy to distract me. As you will see from the rest of this post. But I’d rather not let this blog fade into obscurity, even if it means only one post a week and it’s not one about books. 😳

| BOOKS I READ IN OCTOBER |

That’s right. Eight books. In an entire month. Remember the days when I read that in one week? No? Me either πŸ˜‚

| BOOKS I READ SO FAR IN NOVEMBER |

A sad two. Two books in ten days. And one of them took me a week to get through as well.

Notice how I’ve not reviewed any of them (apart from one which was for a blog tour)? That’s because if you thought my reading mojo went up in smoke, my reviewing mojo is somewhere in another universe, I think. πŸ™„

| CURRENTLY READING |

No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. I am in fact reading three books at once. Slowly. A snail’s pace is nothing compared to how slowly I’m making progress on these. I’m enjoying all three so far but the one that’s able to hold my attention just that little bit more is The Outsider.

| CURRENTLY LISTENING TO |

You’re all going to start thinking you’ve stumbled on the wrong blog, aren’t you? πŸ˜‚. Me? An audiobook? Why, yes, indeed. And it’s absolutely amazing! I’ve been wanting to listen to this one for ages but never had the time. Thank goodness I finally saw the light and just said no to blog tours πŸ˜‚

| BOOK POST THAT LANDED ON MY DOORSTEP |

Lucky, lucky blogger.

| WHAT I HAVE BEEN WATCHING |

All 7 seasons of The West Wing, which in my most humble opinion, is one of the best tv shows ever made. The first three or four seasons anyway. And twenty years after it first aired, it is still oddly apt. It’s quite confronting to realise how little has changed in all these years, or how things have become worse even. Stellar cast, fantastic writing, delightful witty moments …. I have a feeling this is a series I will be returning to on a regular basis. Have you ever watched it?

Some of you may remember from a while back, that I quite like my Lego. The other half has been collecting some humongous Star Wars builds and on Monday, he picked up another one. So while listening to David Copperfield, I’ve been doing this :

That’s an internet image, by the way. Did I mention it’s big? I couldn’t get a decent picture of it myself πŸ˜‚. I finished it yesterday so now I have to find something else to do while listening to my (really long!!!) audiobook.

And that’s it. You’re all caught up. I will be back. Just don’t know when, or with what πŸ€”

Wishing you all a fabulous week! Until next time! xx

This Week in Books (November 6)

Hosted byΒ Lipsy Lost and Found, my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I’m reading this week. A similar meme is run byΒ Taking on a World of Words.

| LAST BOOK I FINISHED READING |

Six friends trapped by one dark secret.

It was supposed to be our last weekend away as friends, before marriage and respectability beckoned. But what happened that Saturday changed everything.

In the middle of the night, someone died. The six of us promised each other we would not tell anyone about the body we buried. But now the pact has been broken. And the killing has started again …

Who knows what we did? And what price will we pay?

| THE BOOK I’M CURRENTLY READING |

Consumption has ravaged Louise Pinecroft’s family, leaving her and her father alone and heartbroken. But Dr Pinecroft has plans for a revolutionary experiment: convinced that sea air will prove to be the cure his wife and children needed, he arranges to house a group of prisoners suffering from the same disease in the cliffs beneath his new Cornish home. While he devotes himself to his controversial medical trials, Louise finds herself increasingly discomfited by the strange tales her new maid tells of the fairies that hunt the land, searching for those they can steal away to their realm.

Forty years later, Hester Why arrives at Morvoren House to take up a position as nurse to the now partially paralysed and almost entirely mute Miss Pinecroft. Hester has fled to Cornwall to try and escape her past, but surrounded by superstitious staff enacting bizarre rituals, she soon discovers that her new home may be just as dangerous as her last.Β 

| WHAT I’M (PROBABLY) READING NEXT |

He was framed for murder.
Now he needs a miracle.Β 

22 years ago Quincy Miller was sentenced to life without parole. He was accused of killing Keith Russo, a lawyer in a small Florida town. But there were no reliable witnesses and little motive. Just the fact that Russo had botched Quincy’s divorce case, that Quincy was black in a largely all-white town and that a blood-splattered torch was found in the boot of Quincy’s car. A torch he swore was planted. A torch that was conveniently destroyed in a fire just before his trial.

The lack of evidence made no difference to judge or jury. In the eyes of the law Quincy was guilty and, no matter how often he protested his innocence, his punishment was life in prison.

Finally, after 22 years, comes Quincy’s one and only chance of freedom. An innocence lawyer and minister, Cullen Post, takes on his case. Post has exonerated eight men in the last ten years. He intends to make Quincy the next.

But there were powerful and ruthless people behind Russo’s murder. They prefer that an innocent man dies in jail rather than one of them. There’s one way to guarantee that. They killed one lawyer 22 years ago, and they’ll kill another without a second thought.Β 

Hopefully these will restore my reading mojo because it’s been slim pickings the last few weeks.

What are you reading this week? Let me know! Happy reading! xx

September Wrap-Up

Well, hello there! Long time, no see! Hope you’re all well.

I didn’t plan on taking almost the entire month off but the post-holiday blues are strong and the blogging mojo is low. Not helped by coming from two weeks in glorious 30+ degrees temperatures to what is that awful time of year called Autumn. Ugh.

For those who don’t know, I spent two weeks in Umbria with gorgeous views of Lake Trasimeno. It’s a good thing we had that view to gaze at without ever getting sick of it since on the first Wednesday, I pulled a muscle in my back and was unable to move for three days. I have excellent timing, don’t you know. πŸ™„

Of course there was also yummy food, delicious wine, a 2 litre bottle of Limoncello that was mysteriously empty three hours later with dire consequences 😳 and I even went on a boat. Twice. Some of you will know what a big deal that is. 🀣

Bookish talk. I took 8 books with me, which the other half thought was way too ambitious. I laughed in his face, despite having only managed two books during last year’s holiday, and was determined to do better this year.

So I read one. And a half. I finished the other half when I was already back home again. Oops. Technically though, they were two books from the Shardlake series. One of 715 pages and the other one 706. So that’s three books, right? πŸ€”

Let us now take a look at the grand total of books yours truly has read during the entire month of September.

| BOOKS I READ IN SEPTEMBER |

What’s the word I’m looking for here? Pathetic! Absolutely and utterly pathetic! Even though technically, 🀣, the three Shardlake books count as 6, that is still a measly 7 which doesn’t sound that much better, to be honest.

Let’s just quickly move on, shall we.

| BOOKS I BOUGHT IN SEPTEMBER |

Ah, well, at least the book buying mojo still works!

| BOOKPOST WHAT LANDED ON MY DOORSTEP THIS MONTH |

With thanks to Michael Joseph and Orenda Books.

I’m skipping the round-up of my blog posts from this month because there wasn’t all that much to see anyway.

And that may be a recurring theme from now on. I may have to seriously reconsider the weekly wrap-up posts I’ve been doing, although I love doing them and interacting with you guys. It’s not that I’m not reading. In fact, I’m about 100 pages away from finishing my first book of October. It’s that I can’t be bothered to review them. That’s bad, right?

On top of that, my determination to slow down with blog tours has really paid off. I currently have one review tour for October and two for November. Hence why I had the time to finally get caught up on the Shardlake series. I’m immensely looking forward to reading my own books and clearing my shelves because I’m running out of room and according to the other half, piling stacks of books on the floor in front of the bookshelves isn’t an option. πŸ™„

But I’m sure you see the problem here. If I’m not writing reviews, there will be no blog updates and thus no wrap-ups. Unless you’d all like to stare at a blank page every Sunday. I’m happy to oblige πŸ˜‚

Anyway, we shall see. Right now, I’m perfectly happy about slowing down for a while and maybe catching up on my Netflix list for a change. Or maybe next week, I’ll be back to reading and reviewing like there’s no tomorrow and I’ll be left to wonder why I wrote all this stuff.

So, stay tuned, I guess. πŸ˜‚

Hope everyone has a fabulous week and October is off to a great start for you all! See you next time and in the meantime I wish you all lots of happy reading! xx