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}

 

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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

Most Viewed Posts

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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?

This Week in Books 26.04.17 #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, blog friends! I’m feeling good this week. I’m loving reading again after months of it feeling like a chore and I’m really enjoying writing posts. Did you catch yesterday’s Norfolk Festival post? I’d love to go to it but I think it’s a bit far away. I have been looking into Lit festivals in general though so I may well do a few more similar posts and hopefully I’ll get to at least one of them this summer.

Anywayyyy…here’s what my week has looked like:

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Now: The Inexplicable Logic of my Life ~ Benjamin Alire Sáenz // The Time Machine ~ H.G Wells

I’ve only just picked up the new Sáenz book so nothing to report yet, but after Ari & Dante I have high expectations! I also managed two whole pages of my ‘lunch-time read’ The Time Machine on Monday. Baby steps.

Then: Sucktown, AlaskaCraig Dirkes // Six of Crows ~ Leigh Bardugo 

Last night I finished Sucktown, Alaska. I liked it, but didn’t love it. It was a mega-quick read, even at over 300 pages, which is nice. Before that I finished Six of Crows and I’m not sure what I thought. I found myself getting lost in places, and I don’t think I truly got into it. But I still couldn’t stop reading it. Hmm.

Next: ???

I’m not too sure this time. I might choose something from my physical TBR shelves or could get a head start on The Marsh King’s Daughter which is out in June.

New on the Shelves

 Bought:

I went on another charity shop raid at the weekend…


….and bought a book I already own. *Facepalm*

This was a great find though…

I’m Waiting On…

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

Because… it sounds quite quirky and I heard really good things about Silvera’s debut More Happy Than Not (but never did get round to it).

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 New York Times bestselling author Adam Silvera reminds us that there’s no life without death and no love without loss in this devastating yet uplifting story about two people whose lives change over the course of one unforgettable day.


On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today.

Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day.

The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure—to live a lifetime in a single day.


Expected Publication: September 5th 2017 by HarperTeen

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

This Week in Books 19.04.17 #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, Strangers! I didn’t mean to take a fortnight off from the blog but it kind of just happened. Life, eh!? The good news is that I finally kicked that reading slump in the balls. Yeehah!

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Now: Six of Crows ~ Leigh Bardugo // The Time Machine ~ H.G Wells

I’ve literally only read the first page of Six of Crows so nothing to report yet. I think might have to just give up on my  lunch-time attempts at The Time Machine…haven’t managed to pick it up for weeks.

Then: The Last Act of Love ~ Cathy Rentzenbrink // The Wingsnatchers ~ Sarah Jean Horwitz

I finished The Last Act of Love last night. It is an emotional memoir about living with loss and grief – I couldn’t put it down. I finished The Wingsnatchers since my last post too. It was a lot of fun. I’ll get my review up ASAP.

Next: ???

Up next will be an ARC I’m quite excited about, Sucktown, Alaska by Craig Dirkes. It’s out at the beginning of May so I need to get a shifty on.

New on the Shelves

 Bought:

 

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life


theinexplicThe first day of senior year:

Everything is about to change. Until this moment, Sal has always been certain of his place with his adoptive gay father and their loving Mexican-American family. But now his own history unexpectedly haunts him, and life-altering events force him and his best friend, Samantha, to confront issues of faith, loss, and grief.

Suddenly Sal is throwing punches, questioning everything, and discovering that he no longer knows who he really is—but if Sal’s not who he thought he was, who is he?

I’m Waiting On…

Bad Romance by Heather Demotrios

 

Because… the cover caught my eye and it sounds like an intense read.

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 Grace wants out. Out of her house, where her stepfather wields fear like a weapon and her mother makes her scrub imaginary dirt off the floors. Out of her California town, too small to contain her big city dreams. Out of her life, and into the role of Parisian artist, New York director—anything but scared and alone.

Enter Gavin: charming, talented, adored. Controlling. Dangerous. When Grace and Gavin fall in love, Grace is sure it’s too good to be true. She has no idea their relationship will become a prison she’s unable to escape.

Deeply affecting and unflinchingly honest, this is a story about spiraling into darkness—and emerging into the light again.

Expected Publication:  June 13th 2017 by Henry Holt and Co.

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

This Week in Books 05.04.17 #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 you guys. I’m afraid my now, then and next answers are still the same but I feel like my reading slump is finally dissipating so hopefully I’ll be back to normal next week. New book haul and WoW below though, so keep on reading… 😉

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Now: The Wingsnatchers ~ Sarah Jean Horwitz // The Time Machine ~ H.G Wells

I’m almost done with The Wingsnatchers. It’s a really cute Steampunk Junior Fiction (Middle Grade) read. And yes, I’m stiiiiiiiiiiill going on The Time Machine at lunch-times.

Then: King’s Cage ~ Victoria Aveyard 

This was the last book I finished. I posted a very short review in my reading round-up here.

Next: ???

I keep saying I’ll read Six of Crows and then don’t, but I am determined to this time. Promise. (Double promise!)

New on the Shelves

 Bought on Kindle:

 

Shtum

shtumPowerful, darkly funny and heart-breaking, Shtum is a story about fathers and sons, autism, and dysfunctional relationships.

Ben Jewell has hit breaking point. His ten-year-old son Jonah has severe autism and Ben and his wife, Emma, are struggling to cope.

When Ben and Emma fake a separation – a strategic decision to further Jonah’s case in an upcoming tribunal – Ben and Jonah move in with Georg, Ben’s elderly father. In a small house in North London, three generations of men – one who can’t talk; two who won’t – are thrown together.

 

Evil Librarian

 

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#EvilLibrarian He’s young. He’s hot. He’s also evil. He’s . . . the librarian.

When Cynthia Rothschild’s best friend, Annie, falls head over heels for the new high-school librarian, Cyn can totally see why. He’s really young and super cute and thinks Annie would make an excellent library monitor.

But after meeting Mr. Gabriel, Cyn realizes something isn’t quite right. Maybe it’s the creepy look in the librarian’s eyes, or the weird feeling Cyn gets whenever she’s around him.
Before long Cyn realizes that Mr. Gabriel is, in fact . . . a demon. Now, in addition to saving the school musical from technical disaster and trying not to make a fool of herself with her own hopeless crush, Cyn has to save her best friend from the clutches of the evil librarian, who also seems to be slowly sucking the life force out of the entire student body!
From best-selling author Michelle Knudsen, here is the perfect novel for teens who like their horror served up with a bit of romance, plenty of humor, and some pretty hot guys (of both the good and evil variety). 

I’m Waiting On…

 

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

 

Because… EVERYTHING!

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 An unforgettable tale of two friends on their Grand Tour of 18th-century Europe who stumble upon a magical artifact that leads them from Paris to Venice in a dangerous manhunt, fighting pirates, highwaymen, and their feelings for each other along the way.

Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

Witty, romantic, and intriguing at every turn, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is a sumptuous romp that explores the undeniably fine lines between friendship and love.

Expected Publication:  June 27th 2017 by Katherine Tegen Books

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

This Week in Books 29.03.17 #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 you guys. I’m still trying to pull myself out of a reading slump, but I have managed some progress this week which is good!  Here’s what I’ve been reading…

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Now: The Wingsnatchers ~ Sarah Jean Horwitz // The Time Machine ~ H.G Wells

Surely a kids book about a magician’s apprentice and a one-winged princess will get me back on a roll? Let’s hope so. I’m just about to start it. And yes, I’m stiiiiiiiiiiill going on The Time Machine at lunch-times. Although I’ve actually forgotten what lunch-time means right now.

Then: King’s Cage ~ Victoria Aveyard 

I’m really hoping that by the time I publish this post I’ve finished this book. I’m about 70 pages off at the moment. It’s been OK but clearly not good enough to pull me out of my reading slump! SAD FACE.

Next: ???

I keep saying I’ll read Six of Crows and then don’t, but I am determined to this time. Promise.

New on the Shelves

 From Netgalley:

 

Alaska is a part of the world I would LOVE to visit, so I’m always intrigued by books set there. This contemporary YA sounds interesting. It’s also been a while since I read a YA book with a male protagonist.

sucktownSucktown, Suckington, Suckfield, Suckingham, Suckland, Suckmont, Suck Francisco. By any other name Kusko, Alaska, would still smell like human sweat, moose stew, and dog poop. But Eddie Ashford can’t be choosy after partying his way out of college in one semester’s time. He lands a job in tiny Kusko — a bush town located in the heart of unromantic Alaska, he’s warned. Eddie intends to straighten out his act and make good on a promise to stay for a year, but soon he’s indebted to his employer, overworked, and underpaid. He’s also spurned by the almost-perfect girl, frustrated, and bored. He finds himself caught in a dilemma: do the right thing, work hard, and stick it out in Kusko or take a chance, smuggle some goods for the local pot dealer, and pile up the cash to pay his way out of Suckramento?

Expected publication: May 1st 2017 by Switch Press

I’m Waiting On…

A Gathering of Ravens by Scott Oden

 

Because… the premise reminds me a bit of The Last Kingdom (minus the fantasy elements) which I’m a bit obsessed with at the moment (the 2nd series is on BBC2 right now) and by the time this book is out I’ll probably be having withdrawal symptoms.

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 To the Danes, he is skraelingr; to the English, he is orcneas; to the Irish, he is fomoraig. He is Corpse-maker and Life-quencher, the Bringer of Night, the Son of the Wolf and Brother of the Serpent. He is Grimnir, and he is the last of his kind–the last in a long line of monsters who have plagued humanity since the Elder Days.

Drawn from his lair by a thirst for vengeance against the Dane who slew his brother, Grimnir emerges into a world that’s changed. A new faith has arisen. The Old Ways are dying, and their followers retreating into the shadows; even still, Grimnir’s vengeance cannot be denied.

Taking a young Christian hostage to be his guide, Grimnir embarks on a journey that takes him from the hinterlands of Denmark, where the wisdom of the ancient dwarves has given way to madness, to the war-torn heart of southern England, where the spirits of the land make violence on one another. And thence to the green shores of Ireland and the Viking stronghold of Dubhlinn, where his enemy awaits.

But, unless Grimnir can set aside his hatreds, his dream of retribution will come to nothing. For Dubhlinn is set to be the site of a reckoning–the Old Ways versus the New–and Grimnir, the last of his kind left to plague mankind, must choose: stand with the Christian King of Ireland and see his vengeance done or stand against him and see it slip away?

Scott Oden’s A Gathering of Ravens is an epic novel of vengeance, faith, and the power of myth.

Expected Publication:  June 20th 2017 by Thomas Dunne Books

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

This Week in Books 22.03.17 #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. 

I’m afraid my answers are pretty much the same as last week as I’ve just not been feeling it. Hope you’re all having a better week!  Here’s what I’m still reading…

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Now: King’s Cage ~ Victoria Aveyard // The Time Machine ~ H.G Wells

I’ve been choosing TV over reading lately for some reason , but I have at least got about a third of the way through King’s Cage. It’s OK, but it hasn’t managed to pull me out of my slump yet. I’m also stiiiiiiiiiiill going on The Time Machine at lunch-times.

Then:  The Invisible Hand ~ James Hartley // Girl in Disguise ~ Greer Macallister

I haven’t finished anything new so here is my response from last week: I really enjoyed both of these. I’ve just finished The Invisible Hand which is part of a new series with each book based on a different Shakespeare play. I think it’s a great way to get kids and young adults interested in Shakespeare. My review will be up soon. Girl in Disguise was a fun book about the first female Pinkerton detective. My review went up yesterday.

Next: ??? 

Still something from my physical TBR shelf again. Six of Crows and The Chemist are at the top of my pile or I might go for something completely different like Misery by Stephen King.

New on the Shelves

I bought these two Alan Bradley books from a charity shop at the weekend but that’s it!

I’m Waiting On…

Nothing has caught my eye yet this so I’ll lazily stick with last week’s answer…soz!

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James

 

Because, the cover is so stunning, and it sounds great too. A bit similar to The Space Between Us perhaps, but I only saw the movie!? There’s quite a wait til September though…boo!

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 Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never met, never even spoken to – someone who is light years away?

Romy Silvers is the only surviving crew-member of a spaceship travelling to a new planet, on a mission to establish a second home for humanity amongst the stars. Alone in space, she is the loneliest girl in the universe until she hears about a new ship which has launched from Earth – with a single passenger on board. A boy called J.

Their only communication with each other is via email – and due to the distance between them, their messages take months to transmit across space. And yet Romy finds herself falling in love.

But what does Romy really know about J? And what do the mysterious messages which have started arriving from Earth really mean?

Sometimes, there’s something worse than being alone . .

Expected Publication: September 7th 2017 by Walker Books

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 🙂

Coming Up: March TBR (and beyond)! #TBR #NewReleases

I like to have an idea of what I’m going to try and read in the month ahead, but it’s certainly not set in stone. Here are some of the most likely books you can expect to see on the blog in the next month or so….[links go to Goodreads]. 🙂

ARCS / Proofs

 

All the Good Things ~ Clare Fisher

 

I’ve just finished this… it was gooood!

allthegood Twenty-one year old Beth is in prison. The thing she did is so bad she doesn’t deserve to ever feel good again.

But her counsellor, Erika, won’t give up on her. She asks Beth to make a list of all the good things in her life. So Beth starts to write down her story, from sharing silences with Foster Dad No. 1, to flirting in the Odeon on Orange Wednesdays, to the very first time she sniffed her baby’s head.

But at the end of her story, Beth must confront the bad thing.

What is the truth hiding behind her crime? And does anyone-even a 100% bad person-deserve a chance to be good?

Expected publication: June 1st 2017 by Viking, Penguin UK

Girl in Disguise ~ Greer Macallister

 

I’ve just started this one. The early reviews were a bit hit and miss but I’m looking forward to it.

girlindisguiseFor the first female Pinkerton detective, respect is hard to come by. Danger, however, is not.

In the tumultuous years of the Civil War, the streets of Chicago offer a woman mostly danger and ruin-unless that woman is Kate Warne, the first female Pinkerton detective and a desperate widow with a knack for manipulation.

Descending into undercover operations, Kate is able to infiltrate the seedy side of the city in ways her fellow detectives can’t. She’s a seductress, an exotic foreign medium, or a rich train passenger, all depending on the day and the robber, thief, or murderer she’s been assigned to nab.

Inspired by the real story of Kate Warne, this spirited novel follows the detective’s rise during one of the nation’s greatest times of crisis, bringing to life a fiercely independent woman whose forgotten triumphs helped sway the fate of the country.

Expected publication: March 21st 2017 by Sourcebooks Landmark

The Invisible Hand ~ James Hartley

 

I love modern day Shakespeare retellings so looking forward to this.

img_0186The Invisible Hand is about a boy, Sam, who has just started life at a boarding school and finds himself able to travel back in time to medieval Scotland.

There he meets a girl, Leana, who can travel to the future, and the two of them become wrapped up in events in Macbeth, the Shakespeare play, and in the daily life of the school.

The book is the first part of a series called Shakespeares Moon. Each book is set in the same boarding school but focuses on a different Shakespeare play.

Published February 22nd 2017 by Lodestone Books

From the TBR Shelf

Six of Crows ~ Leigh Bardugo

 

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Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:

Break into the notorious Ice Court
(a military stronghold that has never been breached)

Retrieve a hostage
(who could unleash magical havoc on the world)

Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)

Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.

Published September 29th 2015 by Indigo

King’s Cage (Red Queen #3) ~ Victoria Aveyard

 

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 In this breathless third installment to Victoria Aveyard’s bestselling Red Queen series, allegiances are tested on every side. And when the Lightning Girl’s spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?

Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother’s web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare’s heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.

Published February 7th 2017 by HarperTeen
Any of these take your fancy?
Or let me know if you’ve already read any and recommend them.
 

Top Ten Tuesday: Top books recently added to the dreaded TBR pile. #TTT

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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 books recently added to your TBR pile.

Well, this is a nice, easy topic, although I have been buying more books recently so it’ll be hard to choose just 10.

Added from Netgalley:

The Silent Songbird ~ Melanie Dickerson: I shouldn’t have requested this book because I knew I wouldn’t be able to get it read and reviewed by the pub date (today!) but I just couldn’t resist. I really fancy an epic historical YA. The opening line of the synopsis had me instantly…I mean castles =  DONE. “Evangeline longs to be free, to live in the world outside the castle walls. But freedom comes at a cost”

The Girl Who Saved Christmas ~ Matt Haig: You should all know by now that I love Christmas, and festive reads. I’ve wanted to read Matt Haig’s books for ages so this one was also impossible to resist.

The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily ~ Rachel Cohn & David Levithan: I didn’t even know this book was on the cards until I saw it on Netgalley. I loved Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares so I’m thrilled that these authors have got together once again for a sequel. This time, Dash and Lily’s brother have just 12 days until Christmas to cheer Lily up after her grandfather became seriously ill. Can they recapture the magic of Christmas in New York for her?

Shock and Awe ~ Simon Reynolds: This book chronicles the legacy of glam rock from the seventies to today and as such will heavily feature my hero, David Bowie. I don’t often read non-fiction, but I’m really looking forward to this one.

Recently Bought:

The Red Eye Box Set ~ Various: This set of four YA Horror books from Stripes Publishing arrived at the beginning of October. I’ve already read one of the books, Frozen Charlotte and really loved it so I hope the others are as good too.

A Christmas Party ~ Georgette Heyer: I picked this up from a charity shop recently. ‘Tis’ the season for…Murder‘ is the perfect tagline that enticed me.

City of Dark Magic ~ Magnus Flyte: I bought this book in an English bookshop I found in Prague. It sounds amazing.

“Once a city of enormous wealth and culture, Prague was home to emperors, alchemists, astronomers, and, as it’s whispered, hell portals. When music student Sarah Weston lands a summer job at Prague Castle cataloging Beethoven’s manuscripts, she has no idea how dangerous her life is about to become. Prague is a threshold, Sarah is warned, and it is steeped in blood.”

Six of Crows ~ Leigh Bardugo: This arrived just this week. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it.

Borrowed:

The Rest of Us Just Live Here ~ Patrick Ness: It’s Ness. I don’t have to say much more. Other than perhaps my shame that I haven’t read it yet.

Koko Takes a Holiday ~ Kieran Shea: I think I can safely say that this will be my first ever Cyberpunk book. It sounds mad, in a good way. My friend Dora enjoyed it and passed it on to me.

Have you read any of these? What should I go for first?