This Week in Books (31.08.16) #TWIB #CurrentlyReading

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Welcome to my weekly post, where I sum-up what I’ve been up to in bookland the past week. 

Happy Wednesday, Blog-friends! Here’s what my week has looked like (I have no idea why I did this collage backwards btw)…

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Now:  The Thousandth Floor ~ Katharine McGee

I’ve almost finished this. It’s been interesting but I don’t love it. 

Then:   The Hummingbird’s Cage ~ Tamara Dietrich

I really enjoyed this thriller/mystery/fanstasy-fusion novel. My review went up on Monday.

Next: ??? 

Probably Labyrinth Lost as it’s next on my ARCs list. 

New on the Shelves

Borrowed:

Siege and Storm ~ Leigh Bardudo

 

siegeDarkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming stormrown up. 

Waiting on Wednesday

(Linking up with Breaking the Spine)

Saint Death ~ Marcus Sedgwick

I’m so excited about new Sedgwick!!!!

saintdeathA potent, powerful and timely thriller about migrants, drug lords and gang warfare set on the US/Mexican border by prize-winning novelist, Marcus Sedgwick.

Anapra is one of the poorest neighbourhoods in the Mexican city of Juarez – twenty metres outside town lies a fence – and beyond it – America – the dangerous goal of many a migrant. Faustino is one such trying to escape from the gang he’s been working for. He’s dipped into a pile of dollars he was supposed to be hiding and now he’s on the run. He and his friend, Arturo, have only 36 hours to replace the missing money, or they’re as good as dead. Watching over them is Saint Death. Saint Death (or Santissima Muerte) – she of pure bone and charcoal-black eye, she of absolute loyalty and neutral morality, holy patron to rich and poor, to prostitute and narco-lord, criminal and police-chief. A folk saint, a rebel angel, a sinister guardian.

Expected Publication: October 6th 2016 by Orion Children’s Books

 So, that’s my week in books, now how about yours?

If you’re joining in leave the link to your answers in the comments so everyone can take a look 🙂

The Foreshadowing by Marcus Sedgwick #BookReview

foreshadowingTitle: The Foreshadowing
Author: Marcus Sedgwick
Series: N/A
Format: Hardback, 305 pages
Publication Details: July 2005 by Orion
Genre(s): YA; Supernatural; Historical
Disclosure? Nope, I bought it. 

Goodreads 

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It is 1915 and the First World War has only just begun.

17 year old Sasha is a well-to-do, sheltered-English girl. Just as her brother Thomas longs to be a doctor, she wants to nurse, yet girls of her class don’t do that kind of work. But as the war begins and the hospitals fill with young soldiers, she gets a chance to help. But working in the hospital confirms what Sasha has suspected–she can see when someone is going to die. Her premonitions show her the brutal horrors on the battlefields of the Somme, and the faces of the soldiers who will die. And one of them is her brother Thomas.

Pretending to be a real nurse, Sasha goes behind the front lines searching for Thomas, risking her own life as she races to find him, and somehow prevent his death.

Review

I read The Foreshadowing quite a while ago now (I’m really behind on non-ARC reviews), but it’s still quite vivid in my mind, such is the command of Marcus Sedgwick. 

I had this book sitting on my physical TBR shelf for ages, just waiting for the right time, and after a string of blahhhh reads I finally picked it up. And did Sedgwick let me down? No of course not, he rarely does!

The Foreshadowing is a harrowing tale of plucky Sasha who is gifted (or cursed) with premonitions of people’s deaths. Her parents and brothers don’t believe her, or more to the point – don’t want to believe her because her gift terrifies them, and in turn they make her life unnecessarily difficult and isolated, as well as perpetually plagued by these horrific visions. 

All Sasha wants to do is help people. She wants to be a nurse, but her father believes young ladies of her stature should marry, not work. But when the war begins, things start to change. Sasha convinces her father to let her volunteer at the hospital. It is here her premonitions really start to haunt her and it’s only a matter of time before she sees her brother’s death and realises that she’s the only one who can save him. 

This book was everything I’ve come to expect from Marcus Sedgwick. It is beautifully written, full of mystery and a sprinkle of magic, with characters so well developed you want to take a bullet for them. 

The Foreshadowing is a book you’ll get emotionally invested in with a protagonist who relentlessly tries to right the wrongs of war and oppression. 

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The Foreshadowing is available now in paperback, hardback and digital

This Month in Books: June & July 2016 #TMIB

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If you haven’t noticed, things have been a little slow around here due to IRL stuff. I went away at the beginning of July, then went to a music festival, and then I moved house. I also now work across two sites so my working week seems busier too. It’s all been fun though, well apart from moving house, but that at least has been successful! 

Anyway, seeing as I failed to do a June round-up and July was so sparse, I’ll do a quick summary for both. 

June / July 2016 Stats

Total Posts: 17 (15, 2)

Books Read: 6 (4, 2)
Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet ~ H.P Wood
Glove of Satin, Glove of Bone ~ Rachel White
Save me Kurt Cobain ~ Jenny Manzer
The Foreshadowing ~ Marcus Sedgwick
And I Darken ~ Kiersten White
Shadow & Bone ~ 
Leigh Bardugo

The Breakdown:
Genres: YA (4/6); Horror/Supernatural (2/6); Historical (2/6); Contemporary (1/6)

Formats/Sources: Advance Copy (3/6); Digital (3/6); Hardback (2/6); Paperback (1/6) / Owned (1/6); Borrowed (1/6); For Review (3/6)

Most Surprising: None really! 
Most Disappointing: And I Darken
Most Exciting: Shadow & Bone
Most Swoon-worthy:  Shadow & Bone
Most Beautifully Written: The Foreshadowing

Reviews: 3 (-3)

    • Save me Kurt Cobain by Jenny Manzer, 3/5 (View)
    • Glove of Satin, Glove of Bone by Rachel White, 3/5 (View)
    • Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet by H.P Wood, 3/5 (View)
    • The War Against the Assholes by Sam Munson, DNF (View)

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Promos, Guest Posts and other

Awards

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August Releases

Here’s my pick of the August Releases

Are you looking forward to any of these?

This Week in Books (29.06.16) #TWIB #CurrentlyReading

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Welcome to my weekly post, where I sum-up what I’ve been up to in bookland the past week. 

Hi guys, happy Wednesday!  If you’re joining in, don’t forget to leave the link to your post so I can come take a look later. 

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Now: And I Darken ~ Kiersten White

I found this pretty slow to start with and I’ve had no reading time this week which doesn’t help matters, but I’m well and truly into it now.

Then: Save Me, Kurt Cobain ~ Jenny Manzer // The Foreshadowing ~ Marcus Sedgwick

My review of Save Me.. went up on Saturday, and the Sedgwick one will be up soon. 

Next: ??? 

I’m still thinking Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

New on the Shelves

Nothing this week. I’ve been very restrained. Move along. 

Waiting on Wednesday

(linking up with Breaking the Spine)

The One Man ~ Andrew Gross

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1944. Physics professor Alfred Mendl is separated from his family and sent to the men’s camp, where all of his belongings are tossed on a roaring fire. His books, his papers, his life’s work. The Nazis have no idea what they have just destroyed. And without that physical record, Alfred is one of only two people in the world with his particular knowledge. Knowledge that could start a war, or end it.

Nathan Blum works behind a desk at an intelligence office in Washington, DC, but he longs to contribute to the war effort in a more meaningful way, and he has a particular skill set the U.S. suddenly needs. Nathan is fluent in German and Polish, he is Semitic looking, and he proved his scrappiness at a young age when he escaped from the Polish ghetto. Now, the government wants him to take on the most dangerous assignment of his life: Nathan must sneak into Auschwitz, on a mission to find and escape with one man.

The One Man, a historical thriller from New York Times bestseller Andrew Gross, is a deeply affecting, unputdownable series of twists and turns through a landscape at times horrifyingly familiar but still completely compelling.

 Expected publication: August 23rd 2016 by Minotaur Books

  

So, that’s my week in books, now how about yours?

If you’re joining in leave the link to your answers in the comments so everyone can take a look 🙂

This Week in Books #TWIB #CurrentlyReading

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Welcome to my weekly post, where I sum-up what I’ve been up to in bookland the past week. 

Hi guys, happy Wednesday!  If you’re joining in, don’t forget to leave the link to your post so I can come take a look later. 

twib-22

 

Now: And I Darken ~ Kiersten White

I’ve just started it. Haven’t got into yet, but it’s very early days! 

Then: Save Me, Kurt Cobain ~ Jenny Manzer // The Foreshadowing ~ Marcus Sedgwick

I had high hopes for Save Me… and it sort of lived up to them, but I also found it a bit blah in places. That made book #4 in a row that was just *OK* so I quickly remedied that by picking up one of Sedgwick’s books that I’ve been meaning to read for years. And of course he didn’t let me down – he rarely does! I loved this supernatural war-time read. Reviews will be up soon. 

Next: ??? 

I think I’ll finally give Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo a go.

New on the Shelves

From Netgalley: 

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Everyone wanted to break me. But stars aren’t broken, they explode. And I was the ultimate supernova.

My name was Jude. They called me Judy. I was beautiful either way.

School was basically a movie set. We were all just playing our parts. The Crew, the Extras, the Movie Stars. No one was ever real . . . especially me. I didn’t fit any category.

All the girls watched me – I could walk so much better than them in heels, and my make-up was always flawless.

All the boys wanted to, well, you know . . . even if they didn’t admit it.

They loved me, they hated me, but they could never ignore me.

I only had eyes for Luke. A red carpet rolled out from my heart towards him and this year, on Valentine’sDay, I was going to walk that carpet and find my mark next to him. It would be like a dream.

But my dream was going to turn into a nightmare.

This is my story.

Waiting on Wednesday

(linking up with Breaking the Spine)

Winning ~ Lara Deloza

winning

House of Cards meets Election in this wickedly entertaining story about an uber-ambitious high school junior.

Whoever said being nice would get you to the top?

Certainly not Alexandra Miles. She isn’t nice, but she’s more than skilled at playing the part. She floats through the halls of Spencer High, effortlessly orchestrating the actions of everyone around her, making people bend to her whim without even noticing they’re doing it. She is the queen of Spencer High—and it’s time to make it official.

Alexandra has a goal, you see—Homecoming Queen. Her ambitions are far grander than her small town will allow, but homecoming is just the first step to achieving total domination. So when peppy, popular Erin Hewett moves to town and seems to have a real shot at the crown, Alexandra has to take action.

With the help of her trusted friend Sam, she devises her most devious plot yet. She’ll introduce an unexpected third competitor in the mix, one whose meteoric rise—and devastating fall—will destroy Erin’s chances once and for all. Alexandra can run a scheme like this in her sleep. What could possibly go wrong? Expected publication: June 28th 2016 by HarperTeen

  

So, that’s my week in books, now how about yours?

If you’re joining in leave the link to your answers in the comments so everyone can take a look 🙂

This Week in Books 14.10.2015 #HorrorOctober

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Welcome to my weekly post, where I sum-up what I’ve been up to in bookland the past week.

Happy Wednesday, Everyone! I hope you’re all enjoying some spooky, Autumn reads…I certainly am!

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Now: Vampire Vic ~ Harris Gray // Edgar Allan Poe: Stories & Poems

I’m enjoying Vampire Vic so far – a comedic, light-hearted take on a vampire story, and the Poe book is awesome, of course. The illustrations are PERFECT!

Then: Seize the Night ~ Various //The Kiss of Death ~ Marcus Sedgwick

I was a bit disappointed with Seize the Night as a whole, but there were some great stories in there. And as expected, I loved The Kiss of Death, my review went up on Monday.

Next: ???

My next read for Horror October will be the second Vampire Vic book, followed by Behind Closed Doors by Elizabeth Haynes.

That’s it for this week, what did you get up to?

If you still do a similar WWW post (or just want to join in, leave your link/answers in the comments, OR why not tweet using #TWIB, and I’ll come and visit.

Top Ten Tuesday: Horror Duos I’d LOVE To See Collaborate

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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 Author Duos You’d LOVE To See Write A Book Together.

I will of course, be doing a Horror October twist on this week’s theme and will be pairing duos from the horror genre, be it authors, screen-writers or directors.

I find the horror genre quite unique in that horror writers often have their own, distinctive style, and horror directors are often auteurs, more so than in other genres I think. And so the idea of pairing two together is really interesting to me. Some of these combos would blow my mind!

What if Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson wrote a book together?

screamWes Craven (RIP) was an innovator of horror. He wrote and directed iconic films such as A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Last House on the Left and The Hills Have Eyes, and is perhaps less well known as the author of one novel (Fountain Society) and a series of comics (Coming of Rage).

Kevin Williamson worked with Craven for the first time on Scream. Craven directed, and Williamson wrote the screenplay, it was a match made in heaven. Wes gave us a new, outrageous villian(s) and Williamson brought his teen realness to the party…now imagine that in a YA horror novel! WANT.

What if Edgar Allan Poe and Marcus Sedgwick wrote a detective story together?

autumn1-poeSedgwick has turned his hand to Gothic horror, science fiction, and contemporary YA to name but a few, but never a detective story (to my knowledge). I think his style would really suit a dark, strange mystery in the style of Edgar Allan Poe. I would love to read a collaboration between the two – not that than can happen. 😦

What if Stephen King and Dean Koontz joined forces?

Two of the most prolific horror writers collaborating? Now that is something I’d like to read!

What if Darren Shan met Valkyrie Cain?

valkyrieDarren Shan’s The Saga of Darren Shan, and Derek Landy’s Skulduggery Pleasant are two of my favourite series for older children. I think Darren Shan (the character) would fit into Valkyrie and Skulduggery’s lives quite well. It would make for an interesting adventure…and maybe some romance…?

What if Neil Jordan adapted all the great Vampire books into movies?

Now, I’m famously not a fan of my favourite books being turned into movies, but Neil Jordan has a good track record. I love his take on vampires.

byzantium
Jordan directed Anne Rice’s dark and delicious Interview with a Vampire, a nigh on perfect adaptation I’d say. And then there was 2012’s Byzantium, a completely overlooked, blinder of a film.

I would love to see Jordan adapt the Vampire Academy books, because quite frankly, the first attempt was just diabolical. Or how about Robin McKinley’s Sunshine? Now there is a book that would work beautifully in Jordan’s style.

What if Joss Whedon and Clive Barker worked together?

I have no idea what they would produce but Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy, co-writer of The Cabin in the Woods, and director of Marvel’s Avengers, and Clive Barker, creator of Hellraiser and Nightbreed could make for a very interesting, completely batshit collaboration, non? I can live in hope.

That’s all I’ve got this week. I want to go and watch all my favourite horror films now. All at once.

#HorrorOctober: The Kiss of Death by Marcus Sedgwick

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kissofdeath
Title: The Kiss of Death
Author: Marcus Sedgwick
Series: My Swordhand is Singing #2
Edition: Hardback, 248 pages
Publication Details: September 1st 2008 by Orion Children’s Books
Genre(s):YA; Horror; Gothic
Disclosure? Nope, I borrowed it from the library.

Goodreads // Purchase

Marcus Sedgwick’s tale of Venice and vampires is a captivating companion volume to the bestselling My Swordhand is Singing.

Marko and Sorrel meet in Venice for the first time. They must uncover the mystery of what has happened both to Sorrel’s father, plagued by a strange madness that prevents him from sleeping, and to Marko’s father, a doctor, who has mysteriously gone missing after travelling to Venice to help his old friend.

Years on from My Swordhand is Singing and Peter is still on the trail of the Shadow Queen. His search leads him to Venice, a city whose beauty disguises many ugly secrets. The Shadow Queen is there, gathering strength, recruiting a new army of the Undead for a final confrontation. This fabled city with its lapping waterways, its crumbling magnificence, dark, twisting alleyways and surprising piazzas is the perfect setting for Marcus’s captivating gothic novel of love and loss in 18th century Venice.

Review

I will read anything this man writes. FACT.

Marcus Sedgwick takes folklore and fairy tales and turns them into Gothic beauty. My Swordhand is Singing was the first Sedgwick book I ever read, and it remains my favourite. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to pick up the sequel.

The Kiss of Death is a story centred around Marko whose father is missing. Last known to have headed to Venice to see a patient- for he is a doctor- Marko heads off in search of him, against his mother’s best wishes.

Marko follows a thin trail and finds Sorrel, the daughter of his Dad’s patient. Sorrel’s father is dangerously ill, driven mad by an inability to sleep, it seems that both men, and now their children, have gotten into something they couldn’t quite imagine.

With the help of Peter (yay Peter’s back!), the three manoeuvre through the canals and streets of Venice to an abandoned Island said to be haunted and cursed since people hit by the Plague were sent there in quarantine years previously. Has Peter finally found the residence of the evil Shadow Queen, and can he save Marko and Sorrel’s fathers from a fate worse than death?

The Kiss of Death is a lyrical, beautifully written book, such as I have come to expect from Sedgwick. I was so happy to be reunited with Peter, and hear more of his tragic, heroic, story.

It’s a book about love, and what it is to simply endure life. In parts it’s dark and depressing, but, it left me with a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. Sigh.

The Kiss of Death can easily be read as a standalone, but I highly recommend My Swordhand is Singing too.

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This Week in Books 07.10.15 #HorrorOctober

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Welcome to my weekly post, where I sum-up what I’ve been up to in bookland the past week.

I hope you’re all enjoying Horror October so far, and if you still want to get involved you can! Leave a comment or email me 🙂

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Now: Seize the Night ~ Various //The Kiss of Death ~ Marcus Sedgwick

Seize the Night is an anthology of short stories about vampires as they should be – brutal and terrifying. I’ve enjoyed a few of the stories so far but none of them have blown me away..yet.

I also picked up Kiss of Death which is the second book in the My Swordhand is Singing world (one of my favourite Sedgwick books). I’ve been wanting to find a copy for so long. So far it’s been worth the wait.

Then: The Lost Girl ~ R.L Stine

This one was very predictable but had some really gruesome, awesome moments so I loved for it for that reason. My review went up yesterday.

Next: ???

My next read for Horror October will be my beauuuuuutiful copy of Poe’s Stories & Poems.

That’s it for this week, what did you get up to?

If you still do a similar WWW post (or just want to join in, leave your link/answers in the comments, OR why not tweet using #TWIB, and I’ll come and visit!

This Week in Books 29.04.2015

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Welcome to my weekly post, where I sum-up what I’ve been up to in bookland the past week.

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Now: The Silvered Heart ~ Katherine Clements // Heir of Fire ~ Sarah J. Maas // The Testimony of a Hanged Man ~ Ann Granger

I don’t usually have this many books on the go at once, but I started Heir of Fire then realised that the release date for my ARC of The Silvered Heart was fast approaching, so I picked that up too. Then I saw the Anne Granger book at work, which is partly set on Putney Heath where I used to live, so that’s my lunch-time reading sorted. I’m new to Ann Granger but liking it so far (see below for more details).

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Then: Ice Kissed (The Kanin Chronicles #2) ~ Amanda Hocking // Twisted Dark Vol 1 ~ Neil Gibson

I had mixed feelings about both of these. My review of Ice Kissed will be published later today.

Next: ???

I think it will be Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin, The Foreshadowing by Marcus Sedgwick or Horns by Joe Hill. I’ll see what I feel like!

New on the Wishlist

Linking up with Friday Finds hosted by A Daily Rhythm

I added Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill to my wishlist after seeing it on Chrissi’s wonderful blog, Chrissi Reads. It sounds so creepy!

onlyeveryours
In a world in which baby girls are no longer born naturally, women are bred in schools, trained in the arts of pleasing men until they are ready for the outside world. At graduation, the most highly rated girls become “companions”, permitted to live with their husbands and breed sons until they are no longer useful.

For the girls left behind, the future – as a concubine or a teacher – is grim.

Best friends Freida and Isabel are sure they’ll be chosen as companions – they are among the most highly rated girls in their year.

But as the intensity of final year takes hold, Isabel does the unthinkable and starts to put on weight… And then, into this sealed female environment, the boys arrive, eager to choose a bride

Freida must fight for her future – even if it means betraying the only friend, the only love, she has ever known. . .

New on the Shelf

(Linking up with Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews) and Friday Finds hosted by A Daily Rhythm.

Purchased: I didn’t buy any books this week.

Netgalley: I didn’t request any ARCS either. Pat on the back for me!

Borrowed: I did borrow The Testimony of the Hanged Man from work though.

testimony
A hanged man would say anything to save his life. But what if his testimony is true? When Inspector Ben Ross is called to Newgate Prison by a man condemned to die by the hangman’s noose he isn’t expecting to give any credence to the man’s testimony. But the account of a murder he witnessed over seventeen years ago is so utterly believeable that Ben can’t help wondering if what he’s heard is true. It’s too late to save the man’s life, but it’s not too late to investigate a murder that has gone undetected for all these years.

I’m Waiting on…

(Linking up with Breaking the Spine)

The Curse of Crow Hollow ~ Billy Coffey

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Stories are told of a witch who lives in the woods outside of town. But where does truth end and legend begin?

A group of teenagers find strange prints seared into the ground around their campsite. They follow the tracks, thinking it will lead to fun. But it doesn’t. They eventually arrive at the edge of Alvaretta Graves’s property—house of the legendary Riverwood Witch. When an agrument that arises turns violent, Alvaretta places a curse on them.

The sickness comes the next day, gripping residents one by one. Fear overtakes the town, and panic soon follows. The posse that makes its way back to the witch’s home is armed with guns and Bibles and is searching for an end to the sickness and violence. But they are in no way prepared for what they discover there. Expected publication: August 4th 2015 by Thomas Nelson

So, that’s my week in books, now how about yours?

If you still do a similar WWW post (or just want to join in, leave your link/answers in the comments, OR why not tweet using #ThisWeekInBooks, and I’ll come and visit!