Reading Round-up: February 2017 #BookReviews #NewReleases #MiniReviews

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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. 

I was much better this month and the only book I read and didn’t feel like reviewing in full was this:

 

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The Chalk Pit (Ruth Galloway #9) ~ Elly Griffiths

This was the first Ruth Galloway book I’d read and at first it didn’t seem to make a difference that I hadn’t read the previous ones, but I think as the story went on it became evident that I would have enjoyed it more if I had. It’s for that reason that when I say I was little disappointed with this novel I don’t particularly think I can blame the book itself. It was a perfectly good crime thriller but I personally felt like the plot unfolded a little too slowly. Griffiths’ writing style was nice and effortless though, and I’d like to give the first book a go in the future.

unicorn rating 3

Other Reviews

This Month in Books: Jan & Feb 2017 #Books #NewReleases #Reviews

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I haven’t done a monthly round-up yet this year (my bad), so here’s a quick summary of both. In January I took a blogging break and only posted TWIB and one review anyway. When I returned in Feb I decided to make some changes in which I wanted to blog less and read more, and also blog to the mantra of quality not quantity. It’s really renewed my enjoyment of blogging and reading so far. Whoop!

Jan & Feb 2017 Stats

Total Posts: 5 & 11 

Books Read: 9 & 5

Reviews

Most Viewed Posts

  1. This Week in Books 01.02.17
  2. Discussion: Blog-Life Crisis
  3. My Favourite Books of 2016

Awards

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That’s it for this month. I should be back to my full monthly round-up next time. I also usually share my TBR update here but I haven’t looked at that since Christmas so there’s lots of additions (and a few subtractions) to make. I’ll do a separate post if I get time.

 

 

Calling Major Tom by David M. Barnett #BookReview

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callingmtTitle: Calling Major Tom
Author: David M. Barnett
Series: N/A
Format: Digital ARC, 304 pages
Publication Details: June 18th 2017 by Trapeze
Genre(s): General Fiction; Science Fiction
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free copy in exchange for an HONEST review. 

Goodreads 

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CALLING MAJOR TOM is a heart-warming and ultimately life-affirming story of a man who has given up on the world… but discovers in the most unlikely way that it might not have given up on him.

We all know someone like Thomas.

The grumpy next-door-neighbour who complains to the Residents’ Committee about the state of your front lawn. The man who tuts when you don’t have the correct change at the checkout. The colleague who sends an all-company email when you accidentally use the last drop of milk.

Thomas is very happy to be on his own, far away from other people and their problems.

But beneath his cranky exterior lies a story and a sadness that is familiar to us all. And he’s about to encounter a family who will change his view of the world.

Review

Calling Major Tom is a story about family and friendship, and more importantly about losing your way.

Thomas Major is an extremely grumpy scientist who partly by chance and partly by his own stupidity becomes the first man to be sent to Mars. It’s basically a suicide mission but that doesn’t bother Thomas. He’s just happy that he’ll be alone. For a really, really long time, if not forever.

Thinking he’s calling his ex-wife from space, Thomas actually gets through to Gladys, a grandmother suffering from dementia and he’s unwittingly thrown into the lives of a family with some very real problems.

Despite his best efforts to be alone, Thomas Major finds himself trying to help the family from space, and in helping them he learns that maybe he’s not quite the lost cause he thought he was.

Calling Major Tom is wonderfully odd. It’s one of those genuine heart-warming stories that just makes you smile. It’s far-fetched; not at all realistic in plot, but each and every character stands out providing a good injection of realness to bring us back down to earth.

That’s not to say that I didn’t find some faults in it. There seemed a  tendency to jump from one scene or thought to the next without any transition, but that may have just been the pre-proof format to be fair. However, it did put me off at first until I got into the erratic rhythm of it.

I am always impressed by anyone who can create a wonderful story like this, but what impressed me the most was how current it was. There are references to David Bowie’s death and Brexit which makes me wonder when Barnett started writing it and how long it took him. I loved all the Bowie references, naturally, and its crazy quirkiness and undeniable charm made it a perfect tribute to the great man.

 

unicorn rating 4

 

This Week in Books 08.02.17 #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

Happy Wednesday everyone ! I’m feeling really good about my new relaxed outlook on life and this blog since the discussion at the weekend. Thanks to those who gave opinions/advice.

If you missed it (and can’t be bothered to click the link – who would blame you) my new mantra is ‘post what you love’ and not what you feel obliged to. And my new aim is quality not quantity, so you may see a decrease in posts (this one is staying though!). I really think it’s going to make me feel better and also improve the quality and integrity of my blog. Everybody wins!

So without further ado…here’s what I’ve been up to this week…

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Now: The Rest of Us Just Live Here ~ Patrick Ness // The Time Machine ~ H.G Wells

I’ve only just started the Ness but liking it so far, unsurprisingly. 🙂 I’m still going on The Time Machine during my breaks at work (so it’ll no doubt take me forever – what breaks you cry!?)

Then:  Calling Major Tom ~ David Barnett

This was a lovely, quirky story. I’m looking forward to reviewing it!

Next: ??? 

I have two ARCs due in Feb which I requested before my new rules (only 1 ARC per month) came into play. So I will make a start on those. They are Mercy of the Tide and The Chalk Pit

New on the Shelves

Really happy to be approved for this as it was my WoW pick last week – can’t wait. It will be my June ARC.

marshking ‘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.

Packed with gripping suspense and powerful storytelling, The Marsh King’s Daughter is a one-more-page, read-in-one-sitting thriller that you’ll remember for ever.

I’m Waiting on…

Carnivalesque ~ Neil Jordan

I’m a fan of Neil Jordan as a movie director (Interview with a Vampire, Byzantium) and I learned a while back he’s also written novels, but this is the first I’ve seen floating around the blogosphere. It sounds great!

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It looked like any other carnival, but of course it wasn’t…

It had its own little backstreets, its alleyways of hanging bulbs and ghost trains and Punch and Judy stands …
And at the end of one he saw the Hall of Mirrors. There were looping strings of carnival lights leading towards it, and a large sign in mirrored glass reading ‘Burleigh’s Amazing Hall of Mirrors’ and the sign reflected the lights in all sorts of magically distorted ways.

To Andy and his parents, it looks like any other carnival: creaking ghost train, rusty rollercoaster and circus performers. But of course it isn’t.

Drawn to the hall of mirrors, Andy enters and is hypnotised by the many selves staring back at him. Sometime later, one of those selves walks out rejoins his parents – leaving Andy trapped inside the glass, snatched from the tensions of his suburban home and transported to a world where the laws of gravity are meaningless and time performs acrobatic tricks.

And now an identical stranger inhabits Andy’s life, unsettling his mother with a curious blankness, as mysterious events start unfolding in their Irish coastal town…Packed with gripping suspense and powerful storytelling, The Marsh King’s Daughter is a one-more-page, read-in-one-sitting thriller that you’ll remember for ever.

Expected Publication: Feb 3rd 2017 by Bloomsbury Circus

 

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

Leave your answers or the link to your post in the comments and I’ll take a look 🙂

This Week in Books 01.02.17 #TWIB #CurrentlyReading #WoW

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Welcome to This Week in Books, where we share what we’ve been up to in bookland this week

Happy February! I’m back in action but with a much more relaxed approach to this blog. It all just got a bit too much. I’ll be posting about the changes soon. Good news is that I’ve been finding more reading time. Hurrah!

Here’s what I’ve been up to this week…

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Now: Calling Major Tom ~ David Barnett // The Time Machine ~ H.G Wells

I’ve only just started these. Calling Major Tom is an ARC that isn’t out until June but has been released for early reviews. And I picked up The Time Machine during my break at work as we were discussing the origins of Steampunk in the writing group I run and I realised I’ve never read it.

Then: Pagan Portals: Merlin ~ Elen Sentier // Ruin & Rising ~ Leigh Bardugo

I had to DNF the Merlin book. It wasn’t at all what I expected and just wasn’t for me. I also finished the last book in the Grisha trilogy which I enjoyed a lot! The second book wasn’t so great but this one really made up for it.

Next: ??? 

Definitely the Ness…probably… LOL.

 

New on the Shelves

 

oh, so many since I last did the full version of this post. I’m doing a separate haul post for the weekend, but will resume listing any new books here from then on.

I’m Waiting on…

The Marsh King’s Daughter ~ Karen Dionne

 

I love the sound of this dark thriller. The cover is wonderfully eerie too.


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  ‘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.

Packed with gripping suspense and powerful storytelling, The Marsh King’s Daughter is a one-more-page, read-in-one-sitting thriller that you’ll remember for ever.

Expected Publication: June 29th 2017 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons

 

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

Leave your answers or the link to your post in the comments and I’ll take a look 🙂