2017/09/30

UPCOMING RELEASES:
OCTOBER

October is coming around at last, and it's time once again to take a look at some exciting new releases coming out this month.

There's A LOT of great books to choose from this month and I couldn't quite break it down to five, so this months list is a bit longer than usual.

Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray

3rd

If you're a long timer reader of this blog, you'll know that I have absolutely adored the first two books in the Diviners series, which is a paranormal, historical fiction series set in New York in the 1920's. This is the third instalment, and I pre-ordered it weeks ago and I cannot wait for this to arrive in the mail!

The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell

5th

This is a nonfiction autobiography about the owner of Scotland's second biggest secondhand bookstore and it's the wry and funny tale of the joys and struggles of being in the book trade.

The Lost Words by Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris

5th

This is a nonfiction nature that celebrates the magic and wonder of the natural world, exploring words disappearing from children's lives and bringing them back to life through poetry and art. I saw a sneak peek of this on Twitter a few months back and I immediately knew I needed it. It looks absolutely wonderful.

The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell

5th

First of all, who can resist this cover? It's fantastic! This book is a historical fiction, gothic tale and it's about a newly married but also newly widowed woman who moves to her dead husband's estate, only to find the servants resentful and the villagers hostile, and at the same time, something is odd about this house...

Suger Money by Jane Harris

5th

This is literary historical fiction, it's set in 1765 and it's about two brothers who are on a mission from their master; to go back to their homeland and bring back 42 slaves. While one brother looks forward to the adventure, the other holds no illusions of the dangers they will face. I think this sounds amazing, and I've seen some early reviews that make it sound even better.

We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates

3rd

I read and loved Between the World and Me last year, and I haven't really researched what this is about (though I have an idea); I'll read anything Coates comes out with. He has a unique and beautiful voice and I want to hear what he has to say.

Sleep No More by P. D. James

3rd

This book contains six murderous tales from the Queen of Crime, P. D. James. I read a collection of her Christmas stories last year and they were excellent, so I've got great hopes for this one!

The Faber Book of Christmas

5th

Too soon? 
(Not only might it be too soon, it's also a bit of a cheat, as this book is not strictly a new release; it's an old release in a new suit. And how amazing is that suit? I mean, look at it...)

So many amazing books, so little time. Sigh.
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2017/09/28

BOOK HAUL:
SEPTEMBER

September (my favorite month) is at an end. Autumn is in full swing and it's quite incredible, as it always is; everything is golden and lovely and the temperature is at a perfect middle; cold enough for scarves, warm enough to not wear eighteen layers.

I've had a very good month. As you probably saw, I went to Amsterdam with my sister for my birthday, which was definitely the highlight of the month (and maybe even the entire year)! I got some books while I was there, which you can see here, if you haven't already.

Anyways, enough chatter, to the books!
















I hope you're all having a great day, and that you're as excited for October as I am!
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2017/09/27

BOOK REVIEW:
YOU BY CAROLINE KEPNES

Title: You
Author: Caroline Kepnes
Published: 2014
Language: English
Pages: 432
Rating: 2/5


Summary:
Told from the viewpoint of Joe, this is the story of a stalker who slowly but surely take control over the life of his victim, Beck.


Review:
I find this a very difficult book to discuss and even though I finished this almost a week ago, I'm not sure how I feel about it.

One one hand, this is thrilling, fast-paced and engaging. It's incredibly disturbing and quite unique, and the use of 2nd person narration is really interesting. It's a story that pulls you in from the start.

On the other hand, this is incredibly disturbing in a negative way as well. There's so much violence in here, as well as much more erotica than I was prepared for, and I'm not sure the characters are complex enough to carry such a story. It's also longer than it needs to be and a bit repetitive in parts. I almost feel like this didn't dig deep enough, and therefore, I can't quite see what the point of this book is.

I'm extremely wary of recommending this to anyone, so all I'm going to say is, if you want to read it, be aware that there is a lot of graphic content in it.
You can get this book at The Book Depository
You can get the e-book on Amazon
You can read more about it on Goodreads
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2017/09/25

BOOK REVIEW:
YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT BY DANIEL KEHLMANN

Title: You Should Have Left
Author: Daniel Kehlmann, Ross Benjamin (translator)
Published: 2016
Language: English (translated from German)
Pages: 114
Rating: 4/5


Summary:
A writer and his family spend seven days in a house in the mountains and as he recounts his experiences in his notebook, it's clear that things are not as they should be...


Review:
Excuse my language, but holy shit, this was creepy. I might have to sleep with the light on tonight!

I don't even know where to begin with this book, but it's the best story of a haunted house I've ever read; probably because you can't quite figure out how it's haunted. In only a little over a hundred pages, this place comes to life and bends expectations and the laws of reality, and it's so disturbing and alarming.

The story is written in a really interesting way as well; there are weird things happening quite early on, but you don't know what it means, you just know something is off, and when you reach the end, you can't help but flip back and get goosebumps.

Honestly, this was terrifying. And yet I'm left fascinated. I would definitely recommend it, although maybe read it during the day.
You can get this book at The Book Depository
You can read more about it on Goodreads
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2017/09/23

BOOK REVIEW:
MISS RANSKILL COMES HOME BY BARBARA EUPHAN-TODD

Title: Miss Ranskill Comes Home
Author: Barbara Euphan-Todd
Published: 1946
Language: English
Pages: 330
Rating: 3/5


Summary:
Having been swept overboard while on a cruise, Miss Ranskill has spent three years on a desert island before being rescued in 1943, only to come home to a war-torn England she has a hard time to come to grips with.


Review:
I quite liked this book and definitely enjoyed reading it.

It's a book tinged with both humor and a certain sadness and bitterness. The main characters struggles both on the island and returning home to England are interesting, frustrating and funny, and overall Miss Ranskill is a robust character with a good heart, which makes one enjoy reading about her.

The setting of England during the war is very well done, and the characters you meet in this book are fascinating. The writing is also very good and it captures the time so well. I do think the story is a bit too slow in parts, especially towards the middle, but other than that, it really is a very good novel.

It's an oddly charming book and one I would definitely recommend to anyone who enjoys British literature and the WWII period.
You can get this book at The Book Depository
You can read more about it on Goodreads
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2017/09/22

2017/09/19

THINGS I LIKE NO. 5

I think it's safe to say that autumn is here to stay (at least for a while), and I wanted to share with you something I absolutely love for this season: hot chocolate from Whittard!

I've never been much of a coffee or tea drinker, so hot chocolate has always been my hot beverage of choice, and these two are some of my favorites. The first one is the White Hot Chocolate one, which is very sweet but I love, and the second one is the classic Luxury Hot Chocolate!


There's nothing like making a cup of one of these after coming home from work and snuggling up on the sofa with a book. They're also extra lovely if you add a bit of whipped cream at the top, which I often do!
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2017/09/18

BOOK REVIEW:
A IS FOR ALIBI BY SUE GRAFTON

Title: A Is For Alibi
Author: Sue Grafton
Published: 1982
Language: English
Pages: 345
Rating: 3/5

This is the first book in the Kinsey Millhone series.


Summary:
Former cop turned detective Kinsey Millhone is sought out by a woman convicted of killing her husband and hires her to find out who really killed him.


Review:
This was a good and solid mystery novel.

I quite liked the main character; she's down to earth and somewhat relatable, though I don't feel I really managed to grasp her or connect to her completely. She drives the story forward and it's through her eyes we see the story unfold, which works really well. There's quite a lot of characters in this book though, and I'll be honest; I struggled in some points to remember who was an ex-wife, who was a former mistress, who was the son of the ex-wife of the... wait a minute... I'm not sure if that's just me that didn't concentrate enough, but I usually don't struggle with that in other books.

The setting of L. A. was surprisingly good; you get a really good sense of the time, the place and an atmosphere of the non-rich vibe of the city. There's a lot of twists and turns in this book, and I feel the story has a good balance; it's fast-paced, but not rash, it's action-packed but not ridiculously so, and the mystery is intriguing, if somewhat predictable in parts. I do think it ended a bit abruptly, but I can't really think of another way it could have been done. I was also not overly fond of the romance aspects.

It's not a story I felt emotionally invested in, but it certainly was enjoyable. I'd say this is a great read if you enjoy crime, law and mystery with a cool female protagonist. I liked it enough to want to read more books in this series and see where it takes Millhone next.
You can get this book at The Book Depository
You can read more about it on Goodreads
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