This Week in Books 24.05.17 #TWIB #CurrentlyReading

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Welcome to This Week in Books, where we share what we’ve been up to in bookland this week and look ahead to next. 

Happy Wednesday, Everyone. I’m so glad I have new answers for you this week!

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Now: The Winter King ~ Bernard Cornwell // The Time Machine ~ H.G Wells

I was processing The Winter King at work and just had to borrow it. I didn’t know Cornwell had written an Arthurian trilogy! I’ve been meaning to try his The Last Kingdom series for a while because I liked the TV show, but couldn’t resist this one first. I am also determined to finish my lunchtime read The Time Machine this week.

Then:  The Marsh King’s Daughter  ~ Karen Dionne // Release ~ Patrick Ness

LOVED The Marsh King’s Daughter – my review went up last night. Previous to that I finished Release and I posted my review last week.

Next: ???

Either my next ARC which is One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus (see below) or perhaps something from my TBR pile – White Cat by Holly Black is currently at the top of it.

New on the Shelves

Netgalley: 

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Yale hopeful Bronwyn has never publicly broken a rule.

Sports star Cooper only knows what he’s doing in the baseball diamond.

Bad body Nate is one misstep away from a life of crime.

Prom queen Addy is holding together the cracks in her perfect life.

And outsider Simon, creator of the notorious gossip app at Bayview High, won’t ever talk about any of them again.

He dies 24 hours before he could post their deepest secrets online. Investigators conclude it’s no accident. All of them are suspects.

Everyone has secrets, right?

What really matters is how far you’ll go to protect them.

Bought: This was just 99p on Kindle so I couldn’t resist. Had my eye on it since it came out.

thejewelViolet Lasting is no longer a human being. Tomorrow she becomes Lot 197, auctioned to the highest royal bidder in the Jewel of the Lone City. Tomorrow she becomes the Surrogate of the House of the Lake, her sole purpose to produce a healthy heir for the Duchess.

Imprisoned in the opulent cage of the palace, Violet learns the brutal ways of the Jewel, where the royal women compete to secure their bloodline and the surrogates are treated as disposable commodities.

Destined to carry the child of a woman she despises, Violet enters a living death of captivity – until she sets eyes on Ash Lockwood, the royal Companion.

Compelled towards each other by a reckless, clandestine passion, Violet and Ash dance like puppets in a deadly game of court politics, until they become each other’s jeopardy – and salvation.

I’m Waiting On…

…Not a Sound because it sounds great. I love that the protagonist is deaf and ends up investigating a crime.

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When a tragic accident leaves nurse Amelia Winn deaf, she spirals into a depression that ultimately causes her to lose everything that matters–her job, her husband, David, and her stepdaughter, Nora. Now, two years later and with the help of her hearing dog, Stitch, she is finally getting back on her feet. But when she discovers the body of a fellow nurse in the dense bush by the river, deep in the woods near her cabin, she is plunged into a disturbing mystery that could shatter the carefully reconstructed pieces of her life all over again.

As clues begin to surface, Amelia finds herself swept into an investigation that hits all too close to home. But how much is she willing to risk in order to uncover the truth and bring a killer to justice?

New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf has been described as “masterful” and “intelligent” and compared to Lisa Scottoline and Jodi Picoult. Introducing her most compelling heroine yet, she delivers a taut and emotional thriller that proves she’s at the top of her class.   

Expected Publication: May 30th 2017 by Park Row Books

 So that’s been my week in books, now why don’t you tell me about yours!?

The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne #BookReview #Thriller #AlltheUnicorns

marshkingTitle: The Marsh King’s Daughter
Author: Karen Dionne
Series: n/a
Format: Digital ARC, 320 pages
Publication Details: 
June 13th 2017 by Sphere
Genre(s): Thriller
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free advance copy in exchange for an HONEST review. 

Goodreads 

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The suspense thriller of the year – The Marsh King’s Daughter will captivate you from the start and chill you to the bone.

‘I was born two years into my mother’s captivity. She was three weeks shy of seventeen. If I had known then what I do now, things would have been a lot different. I wouldn’t have adored my father.’

When notorious child abductor – known as the Marsh King – escapes from a maximum security prison, Helena immediately suspects that she and her two young daughters are in danger.

No one, not even her husband, knows the truth about Helena’s past: they don’t know that she was born into captivity, that she had no contact with the outside world before the age of twelve – or that her father raised her to be a killer.

And they don’t know that the Marsh King can survive and hunt in the wilderness better than anyone… except, perhaps his own daughter.

Review

Yes. Just all the yes! It’s been a really long time since I stayed up wayyyy too late because I couldn’t put a book down, but this one forced me too.

The Marsh King’s Daughter is a fast-paced, thrilling, creepy, empowering, brilliant story about a girl who was brought up in the wilderness, taught to hunt and track by her unpredictable father (at a very young age), and who never met another single person other than her father and her parents until she was 12 years old.

She didn’t know it, but Helena was her father’s prisoner, just like her mother was.

Helena, now happily married with two little girls, has made a nice life for herself, but it came at a price. She became a new person and never told anyone who her father is. She wasn’t able to visit him in prison even though sometimes she wanted to.

When she hears on the news that he has escaped from the maximum security prison he was being held, killing two men, Helena is in no doubt that he’ll come for her and her girls, but luckily for her The Marsh King taught her everything he knew.

I loved so much about this story. Helena took to the wild life from an early age. She loved hunting, tracking, shooting, killing. She was a prisoner but she didn’t know it, and ironically the marsh offered her a freedom normal children will never experience. She had many happy times and she often idolised her Native American father. But she also feared him, and knew that his relationship with her mother was strange.

I found it really interesting how Helena viewed her mother. They hadn’t bonded and she wondered if she loved her. She didn’t understand why her mum was so weak and not present. The thought of staying in the cabin and making jam with her mum made her skin crawl. Her mum’s story is the truly harrowing element of this novel.

The whole way through I wondered if Helena’s mum had made the decision to not tell her about the situation out of fear, or because she wanted her to have some normality in her childhood. I wanted to know if she’d ever tried to escape, and if not, why not, but I think it was a much better story not knowing that as we only see through the eyes of Helena – which I thought was really powerful.

The Marsh King’s Daughter was great from the beginning but the second half of the book was outstanding, I really could not put it down. I needed to know if Helena and her lovely family would be OK; what she would say to her father when she saw him; If she could survive once more? I think she has to be one of my favourite protagonists of recent years, and I know her story will stay with me for a long, long time.

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An Adventure in Book Hunting #2: Albatross Books

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As some of you may know I sell antique and vintage books on Etsy. It’s a hobby that allows me to do one of my favourite things – buy old books – without feeling too guilty. It’s not really about making money (although that’s nice too), it’s about the joy of finding beautiful old / rare books, researching their history and giving them a new home. In this new feature I will be sharing some of my finds with you!

Albatross paperbacks – various

Found: Ebay

These caught my eye because of the striking covers and their resemblance to the classic Penguin books, but I’d never heard of Albatross. When I delved into the history of the publishers it all became clear…

  • Christmas Holiday by Somerset Maugham. 1947
  • These Foolish Things by Michael Sadleir. 1937
  • Strange Glory by L.H Myers. 1938

History

Albatross Books was a German publishing house based in Hamburg that produced the first ever modern mass market paperback books. Founded in 1932 by John Holroyd-Reece, Max Christian Wegner and Kurt Enoch, the name was chosen because “Albatross” is the same word in many European languages.

Based on the example of Tauchnitz, a Leipzig publishing firm that had been producing inexpensive and paper-bound English-language reprints for the continental market, Albatross set out to streamline and modernise the paperback format.

The books in the series, also known as the Albatross Continental Library, were produced in a new standardised size (181 x 111 mm), which became known as the Golden Ratio – still used today. They used new sans-serif fonts developed by Stanley Morison among others, and were color-coded by genre, with green for travel, orange for fiction, and so on. The series was so successful that Albatross soon purchased Tauchnitz, giving itself an instant 100-year heritage.

The outbreak of World War II brought the Albatross experiment to a halt, but by then Allen Lane, founder of Penguin Books had adopted many of Albatross’ ideas, including the standard size, the idea of covers using typography and logo but no illustrations, and the use of colour coding by type of content. Lane later hired Kurt Enoch, co-founder of Albatross Books, to manage Penguin’s American branch. (Wiki)

More info here: Publishing History

Inscriptions/Features


Two of the books are signed and dated. One is unreadable but one clearly reads 1938. In These Foolish Things there is an original ‘postcard’ from Albatross books reading:

‘Dear reader,

If I have not yet chosen that special book you want me to publish, would you not care to select it yourself? A free copy is sent of every book published at a reader’s suggestion to whoever proposed it first. On receipt of your card you will be informed if the book in question has been suggested already and if not it will be read at once.

Hoping yours will be the first suggestion, I remain,

Yours sincerely,

The Albatross’

Purchase

I’ve found a few copies of Christmas Holiday in slightly better condition than mine over  on AbeBooks  for around $35, but haven’t had much luck with the others, so hopefully that means they’re pretty rare. I’m selling these three as a set for just £20 as they’re not in the best condition but still readable! I also have a sale on the moment with 1/3 off selected items. 

Do these books mean anything to you? I’d love to hear more about the history of  Albatross.

Release by Patrick Ness #BookReview #LGBT #YA

releaseTitle: Release
Author: Patrick Ness
Series: n/a
Format: Hardback, 287 pages
Publication Details: 
May 4th 2017 by Walker Books
Genre(s): YA; Contemporary; LGBT
Disclosure? Nope, my copy came with a ticket to the book launch – I was under no obligation to post a review. 

Goodreads 

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Inspired by Mrs Dalloway and Judy Blume’s Forever, Release is one day in the life of Adam Thorn, 17. It’s a big day. Things go wrong. It’s intense, and all the while, weirdness approaches…

Adam Thorn is having what will turn out to be the most unsettling, difficult day of his life, with relationships fracturing, a harrowing incident at work, and a showdown between this gay teen and his preacher father that changes everything. It’s a day of confrontation, running, sex, love, heartbreak, and maybe, just maybe, hope. He won’t come out of it unchanged. And all the while, lurking at the edges of the story, something extraordinary and unsettling is on a collision course.


Review

You should all know by now that I love Patrick Ness, so I was of course very excited about his new release, Release, especially considering my friend Dora and I got tickets to the premiere of the book tour.

I posted about the whole shebang here. It was such a great night with insightful and inspiring discussions that my already high expectation bar was pushed through the roof…and I can’t help feeling a little deflated by the whole thing now that I’ve finished the book. SAD PANDA.

Adam Thorn is a gay 17 year old with a bad-boy magnet best friend called Angela, a strict preacher father, and a couple of ex-boyfriends who have treated him pretty terribly. What could go wrong, I hear you say!?

I loved everything Patrick Ness said when discussing this book – the need for diversity in books to reflect the world we live in, the need for YA books with gay protagonists to not shy away from sex scenes, all of it, but it just felt a bit forced here and I think the story suffered because of that.

Release is actually quite a subtle book, and whereas I don’t think that’s a bad thing, I just wasn’t expecting that from all the passionate discussion points in the book launch. I’m not sure this is quite the book Patrick Ness thought he had written. It does spotlight some important issues, but I felt like it needed more drama to really pack a punch. In trying to make it tender, I think a lot of its potential was quashed.

Running alongside Adam’s story is a strange, morbid fairy-tale allegory about a faun and a queen who is actually the ghost of a recently deceased fellow student of Adam’s, and this just did not work for me at all. It came across as a bit pretentious to be honest and I ended up skipping nearly all of these sequences after about a third of the way through. VERY SAD PANDA.

It’s actually quite painful to slag off one of your favourite authors, but I’d be a pretty rubbish book blogger if I couldn’t be honest with myself about how I feel about a book. It has some lovely moments, and is of course written beautifully. And I love everything Patrick was wanting to say with Release, but I think maybe he tried a bit too hard and didn’t quite manage to pull it off.

unicorn rating 3

 

This Week in Books 17.05.17 #TWIB #CurrentlyReading

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Welcome to This Week in Books, where we share what we’ve been up to in bookland this week and look ahead to next. 

Happy Wednesday, everyone! I barely got any reading done last weekend/this week so my answers are the same. Fail. I blame Eurovision for giving me a 3-day hangover -LOL! My WoW and and New on the Shelf  answers are different though, so read on…

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Now: The Marsh King’s Daughter  ~ Karen Dionne // The Time Machine ~ H.G Wells

I haven’t got stuck into this yet, but I have a good feeling about it. And I’m almost, finally, done with The Time Machine which I’ve been trying to read at lunch times.

Then:  Release ~ Patrick Ness

I think because I went to the book launch and listened to Patrick speak so passionately about his book that I had very high expectations and so I was a little disappointed by Release – but only a little. It was a beautiful book, I just got slapped by the hype-monster. Gah! My review will be up soon.

Next: ???

I’m really not sure this time. I’m going to let my mood decide at the time.

New on the Shelves

Netgalley: 

Fear by Dirk Kurbjuweit was my WoW last week so I was pleased to get approved!

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I’m Waiting On…

I saw this on a few blogs last week and seem to be on a bit of a thriller kick so I’d like to give it a go!

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There’s trouble in paradise. . .

For as long as she can remember, Jemma has been planning the perfect honeymoon. A fortnight’s retreat to a five-star resort in the Maldives, complete with luxury villas, personal butlers and absolute privacy. It should be paradise, but it’s turned into a nightmare.

Because the man Jemma married a week ago has just disappeared from the island without a trace. And now her perfect new life is vanishing just as quickly before her eyes. After everything they’ve been through together, how can this be happening? Is there anyone on the island who Jemma can trust? And above all – where has her husband gone?

 Expected Publication: June 1st 2017 by Penguin

 So that’s been my week in books, now why don’t you tell me about yours!?

This Week in Books 10.05.17 #TWIB #CurrentlyReading

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Welcome to This Week in Books, where we share what we’ve been up to in bookland this week and look ahead to next. 

Happy Wednesday, everyone! I’m very happy this week because it’s Eurovision week. If you don’t know what that means I’m sad for you, LOL! Bring on Saturday.

Anyway, this is what my week has looked like:

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Now: The Marsh King’s Daughter  ~ Karen Dionne // The Time Machine ~ H.G Wells

I haven’t got stuck into this yet, but I have a good feeling about it. And I’m almost, finally, done with The Time Machine which I’ve been trying to read at lunch times.

Then:  Release ~ Patrick Ness

I think because I went to the book launch and listened to Patrick speak so passionately about his book that I had very high expectations and so I was a little disappointed by Release – but only a little. It was a beautiful book, I just got slapped by the hype-monster. Gah! My review will be up soon.

Next: ???

I’m really not sure this time. I’m going to let my mood decide at the time.

New on the Shelves

I didn’t buy any, or request any books this week. Go me!

 

I’m Waiting On…

Fear by Dirk Kurbjuweit

Because…I just saw this on Netgalley and thought it sounded intriguing. I hope I get approved!

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YOU’D DIE FOR YOUR FAMILY.

BUT WOULD YOU KILL FOR THEM?

***

Family is everything.

So what if yours was being terrorised by a neighbour – a man who doesn’t listen to reason, whose actions become more erratic and sinister with each passing day? And those you thought would help – the police, your lawyer – can’t help you.

You become afraid to leave your family at home alone. But there’s nothing more you can do to protect them.

Is there?

Expected Publication: Jan 25th 2017 by Orion

So that’s been my week in books, now why don’t you tell me about yours!?

Top Ten Tuesday: Gimme More #TTT #weneeddiversebooks

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is… Top Ten Things On Our Reading Wishlist. All those things that make you think I WANT MORE OF THIS IN BOOKS!

I haven’t done one of these in a while. I really felt like joining in this week, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to think of ten…

  1. Multi-cultural families: Inspired by something Patrick Ness said at his recent book tour premiere, and my recent read of The Inexplicable Logic of my Life I think there definitely needs to be more books featuring multi-cultural families. For example, a Scottish father and a Caribbean mother and how their children embrace (or not!) being part of two different cultures.
  2. Mother/Daughter relationships: For Mother’s Day one year I tried to do a top ten of books with great mother/daughter relationships (inspired by Gilmore Girls) but could barely come up with a handful. More please.
  3. Indigenous protagonists: I want to read more stories from the perspectives of indigenous people, from Shawnee tribes-people to Inupiats and everything in between.
  4. Cults: Why aren’t there more stories featuring cults? I’ve always found the idea of cults fascinating, and surely there’s lots of mileage you could get out of a story like that. It could be a horror, or a contemporary YA, a psychological thriller….all would make a great cult story.
  5. Unicorns: Obviously. Grown up, magical but kick-ass unicorn stories please.
  6. Happy Singletons: It really annoys me that there’s not many books about people being single AND happy. It does happen, people!
  7. Damaged guys: This one’s a bit shameful but yeah, I always fancy the damaged, broken guys in books (& tv/film)…I can’t be the only one, right!? More please.
  8. Letter writing: I’m scraping the barrel a bit here but I miss stories were the characters write letters to each other rather than texting all the time. I also haven’t read a good book in diary format for ages.
  9. Allergies: I’m allergic to lots of things and it’s a complete pain in the arse. I’ve only just realised that I haven’t read many books where a main character has allergies. Could be interesting.
  10. Nordic Settings: I know there’s quite a lot of Nordic-based adult fic out there, but I haven’t seen much of that going on on the YA scene. Yes please.

Whoop! I did it!

What’s on your book wishlist? And please let me know if my answers sparked any recommendation ideas!

Reading Round-up: April 2017 #BookReviews

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Welcome to my new post where I discuss any books that I read in the month which for one reason or another didn’t warrant a full review. This is a way for me to keep track of what I’ve read but without the pressure of having to write comprehensive reviews for them all. 

There were three books I read this month that I didn’t end up reviewing in full…

The Last Act of Love ~ Cathy Rentzenbrink

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I’m not one for memoirs really, but I’ve heard Cathy talk before and thought she was amazing. She’s also coming into my library to do a talk in celebration of World Book Night so I thought I had better read her book first. I’m so glad I did, it was soooo good. Completely heart-breaking, but also bursting with energy and joy in places. It’s a must-read for anyone.

One False Move ~ Dreda Say Mitchell

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I read this one lunch-time as it’s a Quick Read aimed at less confident readers. It was a fast-paced story about a young woman trying to keep out of jail but facing many difficulties along the way. I enjoyed it, and now I have something I can recommend to some of my customers at work who are put off by larger books.

Six of Crows ~ Leigh Bardugo

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So many people have raved about this book, and a few have personally told me to read it because I will love it even more than The Grisha Trilogy so I feel quite bad in saying this – I just could not take this book in. I read it pretty quickly, but a couple of weeks on and I don’t think I could even tell you what happened. Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood – IDK. But I think I’m done with the Grisha world for now.

AOB

{that’s any other business for those of you that’ve never had the misfortune to have a job where people say that all the time}

 

This Week in Books 03.05.17 #TWIB #CurrentlyReading

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Welcome to This Week in Books, where we share what we’ve been up to in bookland this week and look ahead to next. 

Hi guys, happy Wednesday. Here’s to another four-day working week – hurrah!

This is what my week has looked like:

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Now: Release ~ Patrick Ness // The Time Machine ~ H.G Wells

I HAD to read this next after going to the book launch last week. I love Patrick Ness even more now! I also started listening to The Knife of Never letting Go (reread), which I got in the goodie bag – it’s my first ever audiobook. Weird I know!

Annnnnd, I managed significant progress on my ‘lunch-time read’ The Time Machine so I’m going to persevere. Not much left!

Then: The Inexplicable Logic of my Life ~ Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Last night I finished TILOML. I loved it. I was worried it couldn’t live up to his previous book, Ari & Dante but I didn’t have to worry. Another beautiful book by Sáenz.

Next: ???

I’ll probably make a start on my June ARC – The Marsh King’s Daughter.

New on the Shelves

Bought:

I didn’t mean to buy any books this week, but then I saw these two mega discounted and…well..Sigh! I’m trying to read more non-fiction these days.

 

 And these from the Patrick Ness Goodie bag:

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I’m Waiting On…

 

Weycombe by G.M Malliet

Because…I haven’t read a good mystery for a while and the setting of this one sounds great!

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 Weycombe is the chocolate-box village of everyone’s dreams. For American Jillian White, a gated life of pleasure and comfort with her titled English husband was a fantasy come true. But the murder of a local estate agent mars the village’s so-pretty surface. Are people actually dying to live in Weycombe? Jill investigates, piecing together clues along the snaking paths and winding lanes of her adopted village. She knows truth has many versions, depending on who is doing the telling. And that few can be trusted in Weycombe, where nothing is as perfect as it seems.


Expected Publication: October 8th 2017 by Midnight Ink

So that’s been my week in books, now why don’t you tell me about yours!?

This Month in Books: April 2017 #Bookreviews #MonthlyRoundup

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April was good. A group of friends and I rented a cottage in Yorkshire for a weekend which was lovely. Easter was fun. I spent it eating a lot and watching classic films with friends. Perfect. I also started to get my mojo back in the reading and blogging sense – a huge relief after a couple of bad months!

April 2017 Stats

Total Posts: 9 (-5 from previous month)

Books Read: 5 (+1)
The Wingsnatchers ~ Sarah Jean Horwitz
One False Move ~ Dreda Say Mitchell
The Last Act of Love ~ Cathy Rentzenbrink
Six of Crows ~ Leigh Bardugo
Sucktown, Alaska ~ Craig Dirkes
The Breakdown:
Genres: YA (2/5); Children’s Fiction (1/5); Memoir (1/5); Crime/Thriller (1/5)

Formats/Sources: Advance Copy (2/5); Digital (2/5); Hardback (0/5); Paperback (3/5) / Owned (1/5); Borrowed (1/5); For Review/proofs (2/5)

Most Surprising: The Last Act of Love
Most Disappointing: Six of Crows
Most Exciting: The Wingsnatchers I guess
Most Swoon-worthy:  Six of Crows
Most Beautifully Written: The Last Act of Love

Reviews

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Promos, Guest Posts and other Highlights

Awards

TBR Shelf Update

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Earlier this year I decided I HAD to do something about my physical TBR shelves. Each month I’ll be doing a quick update to see how I’ve done. See my original post here, and my updated TBR list here. 

Previous TBR Count: 84

Books Added: 1

Books Read: 2

Remaining: 83

That was my month, how was yours?