Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books to-be-read this Winter

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (Click the image to visit them). This week the topic is Top Ten Books on my Winter TBR list.

Most of these books aren’t new, but they are the ones I’m most excited about reading over the next few months so I can then concentrate on all the awesome new books next year (see last week’s TTT for my most anticipated books of 2014) .

Also, I tried to get through a TTT post without mentioning The Selection books, but as you’ll see, I failed.

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What made your list?

Geeking Out: The Library of Birmingham, UK.

On Friday I took a trip to Birmingham to visit a friend and Europe’s second largest Christmas market (expect more from that on this week’s Festive Thursday post). And what kind of Book Geek would I be if I didn’t visit their brand spanking new (and massive) Library?

I was thoroughly impressed, amazed, and just a bit jealous.

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The Library of Birmingham provides a showcase for the city’s internationally important collections of archives, photography and rare books. New facilities including state-of-the-art gallery space open up public access to the collections for the first time. It is also home to a BFI Mediatheque, providing free access to the National Film Archive.

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Spread over 10 levels of varying size and usage, the building comprises a spacious entrance and foyer with mezzanine, two outdoor garden terraces, a ‘golden box’ of secure archive storage occupying two levels, and at the very top of the building a rotunda feature housing the Shakespeare Memorial Room.

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The large windows and roof gardens overlook Birmingham’s big wheel, and the ice rink at this time of year.

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Here is my friend Laura who was promised a Christmas sausage but got Shakespeare instead. I don’t think she minded too much, they seemed to get on well.

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I wasn’t as miserable as I look, honest.

Info taken from http://www.libraryofbirmingham.com

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

THIS BOOK! I’m still processing, but wow. READ IT.

2118745Prentisstown isn’t like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee — whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not — stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden — a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.

But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?

This book has given me a hangover. I feel like a shell of my former self so please excuse this rant of a review.

Poor Todd. He’s the only boy left in Prentisstown and he’s counting down the days until he will officially become a man. He doesn’t know what becoming a man, by Prentisstown standards actually means, but he just hopes that he won’t be alone any more.

But everything Todd thought he knew has been a lie. Prentisstown is not what he thought it was and all of a sudden he’s running for his life, his dog Manchee his only companion.

I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to get round to reading this book. I remember the hype when it came out and did I that ‘oh I bet it’s not THAT good, I’ll get round to it eventually’ thing. I am an idiot.

The Knife of Never Letting Go is a ferocious read. I literally couldn’t stop. It’s written in a stream-of-consciousness style which some people might find challenging, but I love it. It’s also one of those books that never lets up. Things just go from bad to worse for Todd, Manchee and Viola, a girl he finds along the way. I was practically screaming Give the poor kids a break for the love of God, the whole way through.

I can understand exactly why this book has won so many awards. Everything about it is amazing; it’s exciting, provoking, funny, and heart-wrenching (not for the faint-hearted!). I’m not really a dog person, but I even fell in love with Manchee. Best Dog!

And I can’t order my thoughts any more than that right now. I neeeeeeeeed the next book immediately.

unicorn ratingDisclosure: None, I borrowed it off my friend Di. NEXT ONE PLEASE.
Title: The Knife of Never Letting Go
Author: Patrick Ness
Details: Paperback, 479 pages
Publication Date: Published October 22nd 2008 by Walker
My Rating: 5/5
Is it a Keeper? I need to buy this series right now.
If you liked this try: I don’t know. Just read this again.

Welcome to Festive Thursdays…

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In case you haven’t noticed yet, I’m a HUGE fan of Christmas. And seeing as it’s December (YAYYYYY!) I’ve started my Christmas preparations with aplomb. OK so I might have started a month week or so ago.

Anyway, I thought I’d turn my slightly obsessed Christmas antics into a weekly post running throughout December so you can feel more normal about yourselves. You can expect some bookish posts, but also some crafty/foody/deocoration/gifts posts. I AM SO EXCITED.

To kick things off, and ease you in gently, here are a few of the festive books I aim to read this month.

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’Tis the season for romance, second chances, and Christmas cheer with this new novel from Debbie Macomber.

Carrie Slayton, a big-city society-page columnist, longs to write more serious news stories. So her editor hands her a challenge: She can cover any topic she wants, but only if she first scores the paper an interview with Finn Dalton, the notoriously reclusive author.

Living in the remote Alaskan wilderness, Finn has written a mega-bestselling memoir about surviving in the wild. But he stubbornly declines to speak to anyone in the press, and no one even knows exactly where he lives.

Digging deep into Finn’s past, Carrie develops a theory on his whereabouts. It is the holidays, but her career is at stake, so she forsakes her family celebrations and flies out to snowy Alaska. When she finally finds Finn, she discovers a man both more charismatic and more stubborn than she even expected. And soon she is torn between pursuing the story of a lifetime and following her heart.

Filled with all the comforts and joys of Christmastime, Starry Night is a delightful novel of finding happiness in the most surprising places.

12284953All Lydia’s ever wanted is a perfect Christmas…

So when her oldest friends invite her to spend the holidays with them, it seems like a dream come true. She’s been promised log fires, roasted chestnuts, her own weight in mince pies – all in a setting that looks like something out of a Christmas card.

But her winter wonderland is ruined when she finds herself snowed in with her current boyfriend, her old flame and a hunky stranger. Well, three (wise) men is traditional at this time of year…

11851173Another deliciously seasonal and heart-warming tale from the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Twelve Days of Christmas and Chocolate Wishes.

In the pretty Lancashire village of Middlemoss, Lizzy is on the verge of leaving her cheating husband, Tom, when tragedy strikes. Luckily she has welcome distraction in the Christmas Pudding Circle, a group of friends swapping seasonal recipes – as well as a rivalry with local cookery writer Nick over who will win Best Mince Pie at the village show…

Meanwhile, the whole village is gearing up for the annual Boxing Day Mystery Play. But who will play Adam to Lizzy’s Eve? Could it be the handsome and charismatic soap actor Ritch, or could someone closer to home win her heart? Whatever happens, it promises to be a Christmas to remember!

Previously published as Sweet Nothings, Trisha has extensively reworked the original novel with fabulous new extra material.

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Renowned mathematician Henry Rathbone investigates a shocking murder that rocks the tranquility of Christmas at an English estate.

WWW Wednesday (04/11/2013)

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To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading? • What did you recently finish reading? • What do you think you’ll read next?

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Currently Reading: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness – Still early days with this but I am loving it. A lot of people warned me about the stream-of-consciousness style, but I really love it. I find it pretty easy to read.

Recently Finished: Game, Set and Murder by Elizabeth Flynn – A murder mystery set at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships. I loved it. My review is here.

Up Next: A Breath of Frost by Alyxander Harvey – I just posted this in my Top Ten most anticipated books of 2014 and was lucky enough to get approved for an advanced copy so looking forward to it! Yay.

Leave your link in the comments and I’ll come and visit 🙂

November Finds

This is a monthly post where I share some of the books that I’ve found through fellow bloggers that I just HAD to add to my wishlist immediately. I’m hoping I’ll look back on these posts and remember to buy/request the books (wishful thinking!).

Here are my top Finds from November and where I spotted them. Click on the links to go to the original posts.

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Found on: The Book Musings
Why: That Cover! I actually saw this in the book shop the other day it looked so stunning…but I was there to buy OTHER people books and I somehow managed to resist.

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Found on: Storytime With Buffy
Why: I love everything about it…the cover, the title, the synopsis. It just looks epic!

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Found on: Reading Renee
Why: It was the cover that got me initially, and then the first line of the synopsis had the following words: Kingdoms; Castles; Princes; Fair Maidens, followed by ‘but make no mistake−this is no fairytale’. Job Done.

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Found on: Little Book Star
Why: I love everything Peter Pan, and this take on the character of Tiger Lily falling in love with Peter before Wendy came along sounds right up my alley.

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Found on: Book Hostage
Why: Yes, mainly because oh look CASTLE… and also because of:

All Jessica O’Connell asked for was a little adventure, something to spice up her dreary life. Instead, her best friend Howard accidentally teleports her into a magical realm with their only link being a moonstone pendant that belonged to her mother. She’s rescued from a cliff by a bona fide prince, attacked by a giant bird, makes friends with a squire and a real live bard, and vanquishes an army of illusions.

Then things started to get interesting . . .

Thanks Guys!

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Books of 2014

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (Click the image to visit them). This week the topic is Top Ten Books I’m looking forward to in 2014.

This wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. I haven’t really had a lot of time to look forward to new releases, and I also haven’t read that many books that are part of series this year so don’t have many sequels on my radar. Well there are a few…

These are in order for a change (most anticipated first), and it just so happens the first five (bar one)are part of the only series that I’ve been fangirling over this year. May as well get them out of the way first, eh!?

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  • After the End by Amy Plum (May 6th): Again, I haven’t read any Amy Plum yet but love the look of her books. This one is no exception, the cover is stunning. Synopsis below.
  • Untitled (Warm Bodies #2) by Issac Marion (2014): Marion recently made this statement…

    I love that world. I love those people, and I want to show you what happens to them. So I’m writing another book about them. Another book-and-a-half, actually…but I’ll explain that later. For now, just trust that I have a story to tell and a reason to tell it, and I’ll try my best not to ruin everything.”

  • Half Bad by Sally Green (March 4th): I recently spotted this on the Waterstones website and thought it sounded awesome. It is Sally Green’s debut novel. Synopsis below.
  • Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare (Jan 28th): This looks like the very best kind of trash. AND the series is called Castles Ever After…SOLD!
  • Veronica Mars by Rob Thomas (Feb 4th): The first book in an original mystery series featuring twenty-eight-year-old Veronica Mars, back in action after the events of Veronica Mars: The Movie. I didn’t know this was in the pipeline either until now. I heart VM!

After The End – Amy Plum

She’s searching for answers to her past. They’re hunting her to save their future.

World War III has left the world ravaged by nuclear radiation. A lucky few escaped to the Alaskan wilderness. They’ve survived for the last thirty years by living off the land, being one with nature, and hiding from whoever else might still be out there.

At least, this is what Juneau has been told her entire life.

When Juneau returns from a hunting trip to discover that everyone in her clan has vanished, she sets off to find them. Leaving the boundaries of their land for the very first time, she learns something horrifying: There never was a war. Cities were never destroyed. The world is intact. Everything was a lie.

Now Juneau is adrift in a modern-day world she never knew existed. But while she’s trying to find a way to rescue her friends and family, someone else is looking for her. Someone who knows the extraordinary truth about the secrets of her past.

Half Bad by Sally Green

In modern-day England, witches live alongside humans: White witches, who are good; Black witches, who are evil; and fifteen-year-old Nathan, who is both. Nathan’s father is the world’s most powerful and cruel Black witch, and his mother is dead. He is hunted from all sides. Trapped in a cage, beaten and handcuffed, Nathan must escape before his sixteenth birthday, at which point he will receive three gifts from his father and come into his own as a witch—or else he will die. But how can Nathan find his father when his every action is tracked, when there is no one safe to trust—not even family, not even the girl he loves?

In the tradition of Patrick Ness and Markus Zusak, Half Bad is a gripping tale of alienation and the indomitable will to survive, a story that will grab hold of you and not let go until the very last page.

What made your list?

A Crime of Tennis Passion: Game, Set and Murder by Elizabeth Flynn

cover32711-mediumIt’s the first day of the tennis tournament at Wimbledon. And a dead body is lying on court nineteen. Newly-promoted detective inspector Angela Costello recognizes the dead man as the Croatian champion-turned-coach, Petar Belic. Double grand-slam winner, Petar was one of the best-known and best loved players of the modern era. Petar had a complicated life: an ex-wife who wanted him back; a girlfriend who didn’t want to let him go; a business partner with secrets. Then there was leading Brit Stewart Bickerstaff, not universally popular with his fellow players, whom Petar had been coaching. Little by little DI Costello, despite awkward and prickly colleagues, discerns a trail through the mass of information. Unfortunately she has no way of proving her suspicions. But a prime suspect has overlooked a vital detail …

If you haven’t noticed, I’m a massive tennis fan. ‘Oh but it’s so boring’ I hear you cry…err no, you are wrong! And strangely enough this debut crime novel by Elizabeth Flynn evoked in me that same thrill and anxiousness I get when watching an epic tennis match which makes me able to say just that..you are wrong. :p

Game, Set and Murder, as you’d imagine starts with a murder. We are instantly thrust into the mystery surrounding the body of tennis coach Petar Belic found dead on court 19 on the very first day of The Wimbledon Championships. Our protagonist, Angela ‘DI’ Costello is an intelligent, caring Detective in charge of running her very first murder case.

Costello is also a big tennis fan, which gives her an extra advantage in that she already has knowledge of the players and close affiliates, and she’s able to use the tennis-loving angle to get them all to open up and spill the locker-room gossip. However, she also has a hell of a lot to prove.

I absolutely loved this book. It’s a quick, easy read that has all the elements of a good traditional ‘cozy’ Detective Story. Despite not reading much of the genre lately, I’m a big fan of Crime Fiction, especially the simple structure of a closed circle mystery.

Game, Set and Murder is a classic closed circle mystery in some ways, although the circle of suspects is perhaps a little larger than usual and instead of a rambling mansion, the location is of course the Wimbledon Tennis club. One murder, one location, a bunch of suspects and one piece of the puzzle fed to us at a time until the big reveal.

It wasn’t the most exciting crime story I’ve read, but the pace was fast and the characters were interesting and suspicious in equal measure, making it an enjoyable read.

I particularly enjoyed the relationship between Costello and her husband, the Coroner. They were perfectly written, portraying a realistic, loving couple that gave the story a good grounding away from the investigation. And, being a tennis fan, I’ve been to Wimbledon numerous times and those details were pretty faultless.

Despite the fact that a murder had just taken place, this book made me want to head straight to Wimbledon. Elizabeth Flynn totally nailed the excitement and beauty of the place during those two weeks in midsummer, but I’m not sure if non-tennis fans would enjoy this as much. It’d still be enjoyable as a crime novel i’m sure, but perhaps not as captivating.

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Disclosure: I received an advanced copy from the Publisher/Author in exchange for an HONEST review. Many Thanks!
Title: Game, Set and Murder
Author: Elizabeth Flynn
Details: Paperback, 272 pages
Publication Date: Published October 18th 2013 by Lion Fiction
My Rating: 4/5
If you liked this try: A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton

Monthly Round-Up

November 2013
November was a bit of slow one for me as far as reading/blogging was concerned. I found myself in one those funks where you’re just not in the mood to read anything. Thankfully that’s a distant memory and I’m really looking forward to some festive reads this December. I also did some blog maintenance and read my first blogging book. Here’s the summary.

Total Posts: 28

New WP Followers: 30

Books Read & Reviewed (5):

  • The Wolves of Mid-winter – Anne Rice, 3/5 (Review)
  • City of Ashes (TMI #2) – Cassandra Clare, 4/5 (Review)
  • Orbital Kin – James E. Parsons, 3/5 (Review)
  • City of Glass (TMI #3) – Cassandra Clare, 4/5 (Review)
  • The Prince, The Fairy and The Fouly – Jim Fitzsimmonds, 4/5 (Review)

Read but not yet reviewed

  • How to Make Money Blogging – Bob Lotich
  • Game, Set and Murder – Elizabeth Flynn

Favourites Fridays:
Most Fridays I have been posting about my favourite books or authors. Although I didn’t do so well this month.

      • #18 The Magician’s Nephew – C.S Lewis (View Post)
      • #17 The Book of Lost Things – John Connolly (View Post)

Most Viewed Posts:

      1. *Fangirl Alert* The One (The Selection #3) by Kiera Cass (View Post)
      2. WWW Wednesday 06/11/2013 (View Post)
      3. TTT: Books I’d recommend to reluctant readers (View Post)

Books Purchased: 

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I mainly bought festive reads to get me in the mood for Christmas, which I well and truly am already. As well as Starry Night, I bought The Night Before Christmas by Scarlett Bailey.

Books Swapped: 

Swap #1: Stormbreaker by Anthony Horrowicz for The Magic of Christmas by Trisha Ashley

Swap#2: The Black Dragon by Julian Sedgewick for A Christmas Visitor by Anne Perry

If you want to get involved in book swapping in the UK visit Readitswapit.co.uk. My username is Lipsyp1.

ARCs/Giveaways:
I received these Advanced Reader Copies via Netgalley.
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*BOOK OF THE MONTH*

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*COVER OF THE MONTH*

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*MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH*

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I hope you all had a good November. And now, onto CHRISTMASSSSSSSSS!

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