New Books: August 2017

Hello my fellow bookworms, after an almost saintly June and July, I have had a complete blow out in August; acquiring a whopping 15 books! In my defence, I didn’t go out with the intention of buying lots of books, instead it was mainly due to my favourite charity shops having an abundance of books I wanted this month. Here’s what I got:

Sandokan, The Pirates of Malaysia by Emilio Salgari

Cleopatra by Ernle Bradford

Six Tudor Queens: Katherine of Aragorn, The True Queen by Alison Weir

To my Kindle, I have added the quite modest amount of three books. First, I happily accepted a copy of the second Sandokan novel after thoroughly enjoying Sandokan, The Tigers of Mompracem. Then I received a free copy of non-fiction Cleopatra from Endeavour Press and I snapped up a bargain copy of historical fiction Katherine of Aragorn, which was on my Amazon wish list as I already have the next book from the series: Anne Boleyn, A King’s Obsession.

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George RR Martin

Order of Darkness, Volumes I – III by Philippa Gregory

The first addition to my bookshelves came when my father treated me to copies of these, using his store discount, which are by two authors I am eager to read more from.

Mary Russell’s War by Laurie R. King

Johnny and the Bomb by Terry Pratchett

Next on a trip into town for a podiatrist appointment, I spotted Mary Russell’s War, the newest book in the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series, in The Works – Sadly, or in hindsight fortunately, there weren’t any other books I fancied to complete the 3 for £10 deal! During the same trip, I also snapped up a bargain copy of childhood favourite Johnny and the Bomb in the library sale.

The Game by Laurie R. King

Locked Rooms by Laurie R. King

The Moonspinners by Mary Stewart

Dissolution by C. J. Sansom

Finally, I picked up my largest haul of books on one single day from my two favourite charity book shops, while visiting the local city where I get my hair cut. In the St Giles Bookshop, I discovered two more books from the King’s Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series and as the shop’s deal is 4 books for £5, I obviously had to pick up two more books!

Truckers by Terry Pratchett

Diggers by Terry Pratchett

Sourcery by Terry Pratchett

Crooked House by Agatha Christie

While in the Oxfam bookshop, I found good copies of childhood favourites Truckers and Diggers, and new-to-me Discworld novel Sourcery. Then by chance, I spotted a lovely vintage style copy of one of Christie’s ‘Golden Age’ crime novels. I often find this with charity shops, there is nothing I will want for several months and then loads come along at once!

Do you fancy any of these? What new books have you got recently?

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Recommendations

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. If you love books and making lists, this is the meme for you! This week’s topic is:

Ten Book Recommendations for … Escapist Readers

Yay! I am pleased Top Ten Tuesday has returned after a substantial break, with a topic that really made me have to think. Even though I particularly enjoy Fantasy and Historical Fiction, I can’t claim to be an expert on them and I do like to read a wide breadth of genres, but what all my reading does have in common is I read to escape. So here are ten books, in no particular order, I enjoyed escaping into – if you’re an escapist reader too then you might enjoy them too:

~ 1 ~

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

Travel with little Bilbo Baggins away from humdrum life on an adventure with dwarves, danger, friendship, treasure, a long-lost home and a dragon!

~ 2 ~

Angels and Demons by Dan Brown

This race against time, solving clues with Robert Langdon around Rome will soon have you forgetting the real world.

~ 3 ~

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J K Rowling

Join Harry, Ron and Hermione for another magical year at Hogwarts, with soul-sucking Dementors and a wanted criminal on the loose.

~ 4 ~

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Travel back in time to meet little Mary Lennox as she takes a tentative step through an old, ivy-covered door into a long-forgotten garden.

~ 5 ~

Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett

Pratchett’s wonderfully theatrical, fun and hilarious take on Macbeth will soon have you forgetting yours woes and worries.

~ 6 ~

The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley

Let yourself be swept away from your own life to a beautiful Cornish country house where you can quite literally step back in time.

~ 7 ~

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Join the famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot for one of his most famous, intricate murder mysteries aboard the most glamorous train in the world.

~ 8 ~

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C S Lewis

Step through the wardrobe into the magical, winter-bound Narnia for an adventure with a witch, a lion and long-awaited prophecy.

~ 9 ~

Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell

Forget your own cares and worries in this touching and meticulous study of the lives of women in a small, rural town in Victorian England.

~ 10 ~

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory

Step back in time to a period of war, political intrigue and magic, seen through the eyes of the indomitable Elizabeth Woodville, the White Queen.

What escapist reads can you think of? Also, please link in the comments if you have taken part in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic too.

Goodbye July, Hello August 2017

Hello my fellow bookworms, I hope you are all well? Fortunately, July was a calmer month for me with the more relaxed wind down to the end of term and a quieter social life too. All of which left me with a bit more time for cooking, television and reading. Here’s what I managed to read:

Fiction: 4          Non-Fiction: 1

At the beginning of the month, during the run down to the end of term, I escaped into Wendy Darling, Volume 3: Shadow by Colleen Oakes; which was an enjoyable and satisfying end to this refreshing re-imagining of Peter Pan. Next, I started The White Queen by Philippa Gregory, the first book in her popular Cousins’ War series, however it wasn’t till the start of the holidays that I was able to fully throw myself into this fascinating look at the life of Elizabeth Woodville. Once I could though, I was magically transported back in time.

I continued the magical theme, with The Lioness and the Spellspinners by Cheryl Mahoney, a witty and charming prequel in her wonderful Beyond the Tales series, that gently pokes fun at the traditional fairy tale tropes. Finally, with only a day to spare, I finished listening to the audiobook of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J K Rowling, which was read by the hilarious Stephen Fry. My full thoughts on these last three books are still to be posted, so keep your eyes peeled for them in August. Also I am still making good progress with the 10 Books of Summer 2017 challenge, with three of these books being off my list; meaning only three more to go!

Alongside these fictions, I also finished reading naturalist and TV presenter Chris Packham’s memoir Fingers in the Sparkle Jar. It was back in May, I actually started reading this, so not a quick read but I found I needed to take my time with this vivid, touching and candid recount of Chris’ childhood as an introverted, nature-loving boy in a world that didn’t understand him.

Pick of the Month: Fingers in the Sparkle Jar

Altogether that is five books completed in July, that is one more than last month and I am thrilled to say the quality has remained just as high – so much so it was hard to choose just one for my ‘pick of the month’! During the month, I have also continued to read the classic North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell and I started a re-read of Northern Lights by Philip Pullman.

In August, I look forward to my friend’s wedding; helping with my church’s kids club; a holiday to Rome and hopefully some lazy days of reading too!

What did you do and read in July? What are your plans for August?

New Books: June – July 2017

Hello my fellow bookworms, over the past month, I have been rather unintentionally good and find I only have three new acquisitions to share with you:

Super Food Family Classics by Jamie Oliver

Back in June, I was totally over the moon to finally get my hands on a copy of this – the second of Jamie Oliver’s ‘Super Food’ cookbooks – which was going for a bargain price in W H Smith. I have been looking out for affordable copies of these cookbooks since enjoying Oliver’s TV series of the same name.

Queens of Conquest by Alison Weir

Hannah’s Moon by John A. Heldt

Then only last week, I received a copy of Weir’s Queens of Conquest, a history of Medieval queens, via Netgalley and a copy of Heldt’s Hannah’s Moon, the final instalment in his American Journey series, from the author himself. Previously, I have enjoyed books by both of these authors, so I am keen to read more.

Do you fancy any of these? What new books have you got recently?

Meme: Six in Six 2017

Hello my fellow bookworms, I can’t believe it but we are already half way through the year! Good news though, this means it is time for the sixth Six in Six meme, the brain child of Jo at The Book Jotter, which is a great way to reflect on our reading at the half-way mark of the year. So here are my six authors or books in six different categories from the last six months:

Six new authors to me:

  1. John Ortberg
  2. William Paul Young
  3. Harriet Evans
  4. Richard Foster
  5. Geoffrey Trease
  6. Rosy Thornton

Six authors I have read before:

  1. Louisa May Alcott
  2. Charles Dickens
  3. Elizabeth Gaskell
  4. Cheryl Mahoney
  5. Daphne du Maurier
  6. Joanna Hickson

Six books I have read on my Kindle:

  1. 90 Days Through the New Testament by Ron Rhodes
  2. Flower Fables by Louisa May Alcott
  3. Faith and Moonlight by Mark Gelineau & Joe King
  4. Seven Stages by Geoffrey Trease
  5. The People the Fairies Forget by Cheryl Mahoney
  6. Monstrous Little Voices edited by David Thomas Moore

Six physical books I have read:

  1. If You Want to Walk on Water You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat by John Ortberg
  2. The Shack by William Paul Young
  3. The Servant Queen by Mark Greene & Catherine Butcher
  4. The Butterfly Summer by Harriet Evans
  5. Sandlands by Rosy Thornton
  6. Pyramids by Terry Pratchett

Six books that took me by the hand and led me into the past:

  1. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  2. My Lady Ludlow by Elizabeth Gaskell
  3. Indiana Belle by John A. Heldt
  4. My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier
  5. First of the Tudors by Joanna Hickson
  6. Sandokan, The Tigers of Mompracem by Emilio Salgari

Six series of books read, continued or started:

  1. A Very Short History by Mark Black
  2. Echo of the Ascended by Mark Gelineau & Joe King
  3. Agatha Raisin by M C Beaton
  4. American Journey by John A. Heldt
  5. Beyond the Tales by Cheryl Mahoney
  6. Discworld by Terry Pratchett

What books and authors have you enjoyed so far this year? Please let me know if you have taken part in this meme too.

Goodbye June, Hello July 2017

Hello my fellow bookworms, I hope you are all well? Wow, June has been a crazy month for me: with a school trip to the Butterfly Farm; catching up with a friend and her new baby girl; finishing the last module of my church course (assignment still to go); an inspection from the Ofsted team at work and finally I went to see Puccini’s opera, Madam Butterfly. Phew! Sadly my anxiety has been all over the place too – thankfully though I have had some wonderful books to chill out and escape with at home. Here’s what I read:

Fiction: 4          Non-Fiction: 0

As it was again a busy time for me at the beginning of June, like last month, I found myself reaching for another short story collection, Sandlands by Rosy Thornton – an enchanting collection of stories about the nature, lives and history of Suffolk, which was perfect to squeeze in when I had a moment or two. Next finding myself yearning for the past, I read First of the Tudors by Joanna Hickson. This brilliant piece of historical fiction, that follows Jasper Tudor during the War of the Roses, had me enthralled from beginning to end.

Then at the peak of the month, I escaped all my busyness and anxiety with Pyramids by Terry Pratchett, an extremely fun, Egyptian-inspired instalment in Pratchett’s fantastical Discworld series. Finally, through out June, I was dipping in and out of the swashbuckling Italian classic Sandokan, The Tigers of Mompracem by Emilio Salgari and I finished reading it on the very last day of the month. My full thoughts on these last two books are still to be posted, so keep your eyes peeled for them in July.

Unusually for me I finished no non-fiction books this month and all these fictions I read were off my list for the 10 Books of Summer 2017 challenge, which runs all summer long till the beginning of September and four books is a great start!

Pick of the Month: Sandlands

Altogether that is four books read in June, while that is an average amount for me to read the quality of reading was high. During the month, I also had the audiobook Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and the memoir Fingers in the Sparkle Jar by Chris Packham on the go. Then at the end of the month, I started reading Wendy Darling, Volume 3: Shadow by Colleen Oakes, the final book in Oakes’ young adult series inspired by J M Barrie’s classic Peter Pan.

In July, I look forward to a quiet wind down to the end of term, especially now that the long awaited Ofsted inspection has come and gone.  Plus I look forward to more great reading, in particular from my 10 Books of Summer challenge list.

What did you do and read in June? What are your plans for July?

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books I’ve Read in 2017 (So Far!)

blog-top-ten-tuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. If you love books and making lists, this is the meme for you! This week’s topic is:

Best Books You’ve Read In 2017 So Far

It was suggested that we could break this topic down however we wanted – by genre, strictly 2017 releases, whatever! However I have kept it simple, here are my favourite books I have read, so far, this year (in the order in which I read them):

~ 1 ~

If You Want to Walk on Water You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat by John Ortberg

***

~ 2 ~

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

***

~ 3 ~

My Lady Ludlow by Elizabeth Gaskell

**

~ 4 ~

Seven Stages by Geoffrey Trease

***

~ 5 ~

The People the Fairies Forget by Cheryl Mahoney

***

~ 6 ~

Monstrous Little Voices edited by David Thomas Moore

***

~ 7 ~

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier

***

~ 8 ~

Sandlands by Rosy Thornton

***

~ 9 ~

First of the Tudors by Joanna Hickson

***

~ 10 ~

Pyramids

Pyramids by Terry Pratchett

***

What are your favourite books of the year so far? Also, please link in the comments if you have taken part in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic too.