Top Five Saturday: Books Over 500 Pages

Top Five Saturday is a meme hosted by Devouring Books to discover and share books that all have a common theme. Previously, the focus has included witches, werewolves, thrillers, faeries, fairy tale re-tellings, high fantasy and many more. This week, we are looking at book in excess of 500 pages. So many to choose from...… Continue reading Top Five Saturday: Books Over 500 Pages

The Anarchists’ Club, Alex Reeve

In the spirit of anarchy, I chose to read this book - the second of the Leo Stanhope series - without having read the first. I know! ANARCHY starts from this! Being honest, I don't think it mattered a jot: Reeve introduces his transgender Victorian protagonist essentially from scratch with enough - possibly too much… Continue reading The Anarchists’ Club, Alex Reeve

Teaser Tuesday: The Fountains of Silence, Ruta Sepetys

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by The Purple Booker. If you want to join in grab your current read, flick to a random page, select two sentences (without spoilers) and share them in a blog post or in the comments of The Purple Booker. I am shamelessly stealing this from Ali's blog iwuvbooks because -… Continue reading Teaser Tuesday: The Fountains of Silence, Ruta Sepetys

Wakenhyrst, Michelle Paver

This was my first Paver read having heard some good things about her, and it thrust me straight into a solid Gothic historical yarn with some genuinely creepy moments! The novel is perhaps misnamed: it focuses on the house Wake's End set beside the local fen, some three miles from the village of Wakenhyrst; and,… Continue reading Wakenhyrst, Michelle Paver

Lost Acre, Andrew Caldecott

This is a deliciously quirky trilogy of novels! Many many things in the books, Rotherweird and Wyntertyde should not work, and yet they somehow do. Gosh! Wyntertyde had left us on a cliffhanger: a second mixing point was discovered; Bolitho was revealed as Fortemain and then dispatched; the vile Calx Bole had succeeded in resurrecting… Continue reading Lost Acre, Andrew Caldecott

Circe, Madeline Miller

Divine days fall like water from a cataract, and I had not learned yet the mortal trick of counting them.

The Mitford Murders, Jessica Fellowes

What a classy cover! Don't be judging a book by its cover, but even so... classy! I want to describe it as being in an art deco style but I'm not entirely sure what that term means... Similarly classy is the pedigree of the author: Jessica Fellowes is a well renowned journalist and editor; she… Continue reading The Mitford Murders, Jessica Fellowes

Melmoth, Sarah Perry

Look! It is winter in Prague: night is rising in the mother of cities and over her thousand spires. Look down at the darkness around your feet, in all the lanes and alleys, as if it were a soft black dust swept there by a broom; look at the stone apostles on the old Charles Bridge, and at all the blue-eyed jackdaws on the shoulders of St. John of Nepomuk. Look!

The Silence of the Girls, Pat Barker

The Greek epics seem to have had a resurgence - dare one say a renaissance? - or a reimagining recently. On my to-be-read list are Stephen Fry's Mythos and Heroes, Madeline Miller's Circe, and Song of Achilles and now this by Pat Barker. I don't know what the appeal is of these narratives, nor why they are… Continue reading The Silence of the Girls, Pat Barker

Washington Black, Esi Edugyan

Oh well, having set down my best intentions earlier, to review Washington Black before finishing Sally Rooney's Normal People, and to complete the 30 Day Book Challenge by Christmas, I have failed on all accounts and now have Pat Barker's The Silence of the Girls to review as well! But, I have had a lovely Chrsitmas… Continue reading Washington Black, Esi Edugyan

30 Day Book Challenge: Day One!

Okay, so I came across this at the great Professional Book Nerds site and with an unexpected day off work, I thought I'd start off today. And doing it on my blog rather than Twitter gives me a little more space to ruminate over the prompts which today is Favourite book in a series. Do… Continue reading 30 Day Book Challenge: Day One!

The Winter of the Witch, Katherine Arden

Disclaimer: I was provided with an ARC / Proof Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. How exciting! My first ARC review! My first ARC review! My first ARC review! This is the third in Arden's Winternight Trilogy which commenced with The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower,… Continue reading The Winter of the Witch, Katherine Arden

The Winter of the Witch, Katherine Arden

So excited that an ARC of The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden has been dispatched today! Book three of the Winternight Trilogy. I love Vasilisa Petrovna - firey, alien and other - the phoenix dominating that cover. I adore Arden's writing, her Russian folklore, the historical authenticity. And Morozko. And Solovey. It is… Continue reading The Winter of the Witch, Katherine Arden

The Mystery of Three Quarters, Sophie Hannah

Hercule Poirot. Arrogant and dandy and moustache firmly in place. An extended cast of somewhat two-dimensional characters. A convoluted and contrived plot - very contrived in this instance. Very contrived. Let's face is, when the plot of a novel revolves around the construction of a battenburg cake, that novel is - for fear of being… Continue reading The Mystery of Three Quarters, Sophie Hannah

Touch, Claire North

Poor Claire North. She brought out The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August as I read Kate Atkinson's Life After Life; I pick up Touch just after reading A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge. And both times, she comes a slight second in similar and comparable fantasy scenarios. Imagine being able to switch your… Continue reading Touch, Claire North

The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau, Graeme Macrae Burnet

Graeme Macrae Burnet came to my attention through the Booker Prize: I loved his His Bloody Project novel with its multiple voices and setting, evocatively recreating the brutality of life in Scottish crofting communities. It was on the strength of that that I picked up this, the first of his Detective Gorski novels and -… Continue reading The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau, Graeme Macrae Burnet

The Muse, Jessie Burton

I adored The Miniaturist! It was one of those books which had stayed with me: the cold of her repressed Amsterdam, the sweetness of marzipan, the claustrophobic house. The hint of the supernatural. The difficult, prickly bond between the women. So it was with pleasure and anticipation that I began The Muse and it took… Continue reading The Muse, Jessie Burton

Within the Sanctuary of Wings, Marie Brennan

Sometimes we just need the familiar and the comfortable, don't we? A warm cuddle of a book. The Natural History of Dragons series by Marie Brennan, of which Within the Sanctuary of Wings is the fifth and, it would appear final, installment, is one of those series. It's not challenging; it's a tad formulaic by… Continue reading Within the Sanctuary of Wings, Marie Brennan

See What I Have Done, Sarah Schmidt

Lizzie Borden took an axeAnd gave her mother forty whacks.When she saw what she had done,She gave her father forty-one. Oh, Sarah Schmidt can write! What a strange strange thing to start a review with! But there is writing and there is writing and Sarah Schmidt can write! Not only can she create a plot and move… Continue reading See What I Have Done, Sarah Schmidt

Weekly Round Up 4th June

So, half term is over and we're all back at work. As predicted, I didn't find enough time to complete a book since the last round up so I'm still reading Sarah Schmidt's See What I have Done and am warming to it much more. She has a gorgeous way of creating voice in her four… Continue reading Weekly Round Up 4th June

The Black Book of Secrets, F. E. Higgins

Every year, I determine to teach at least one text which is new to me that year - which with a shrinking pool to choose from at GCSE becomes harder year-one-year - and that is why I have stumbled upon F. E. Higgins' The Black Book of Secrets. It is an odd little book -… Continue reading The Black Book of Secrets, F. E. Higgins

The Bear and the Nightingale and Girl in the Tower, Katherine Arden

  I feel terribly guilty reviewing these books two at a time. They are too good to be treated like this! They are a delicious treat and parcelling them up together simply for convenience and to save time feels wrong. But, I'm still doing it. These novels are two parts of a mythic fairytale set… Continue reading The Bear and the Nightingale and Girl in the Tower, Katherine Arden

A Skinful Of Shadows, Frances Hardinge

Cards on the table. I adore Frances Hardinge. She can, in my humble eyes, do no wrong. I would buy a telephone directory with her name attached to it as an author! Her Cuckoo Song was a masterpiece. The sort of novel which I wish I had more than my self-imposed five stars to give… Continue reading A Skinful Of Shadows, Frances Hardinge

The Loney, Andrew Michael Hurley

There is something very frustrating about this book. It was so close to being great that the fact that it wasn't great is so disappointing. The premise sounded brilliant: members of a religious community go on a retreat to an isolated location; suspicious and sinister villagers mill around; a young boy is being prayed for… Continue reading The Loney, Andrew Michael Hurley

The Heart’s Invisible Furies, John Boyne

  Some books you can knock out a review in a moment or two after reading them. Others take time to digest and consider and reflect on. And this beautiful, heart-aching, visceral, funny, tragic novel is one of the latter. But as yesterday was the International Day Against Homophobia Biphobia Intersexism and Transphobia  - should… Continue reading The Heart’s Invisible Furies, John Boyne