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!

theloniestgirl

 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 🙂

Lost & Found: Adventures in Book Hunting #1

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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!

The Jewel of Kasr-Ed-Shendi (1973) by Penelope Fletcher

Found: Tiffin School Car Boot Sale, Kingston-Upon-Thames

 

 

Synopsis

Before setting out at the beginning of her first term at boarding school in Scotland, Pat is entrusted by her father with the care of a valuable diamond. Although she knew she would have to face danger, the events of that term were to become more horrifying than she thought possible. It proved to be a time she would never forget, when her character, strengthened by her Girl Guide training, was to be tested to the limit.

Although she had little in common with her room-mate Muriel when they first met, their adventures together revealed sterling qualities of unsuspected depth, and welded a bond of friendship between them. 

History

Girl Guiding has a long and rich history of empowering girls and young women, and this book is a lovely product of that history. Written by Penelope Fletcher and published in 1973, this first edition is a sought-after book for Girl Guide aficionados.

Penelope Fletcher was born in Birkenhead in 1907 and became extremely interested in the Girl Guides during her school days. She joined her School Company and the Blackbird Patrol and later became the Lieutenant in the Girl Guides Y.W.C.A Birkenhead. After her marriage, Fletcher became Captain of the 1st Hollesley Girl Guides until they disbanded in 1938.

The Jewel of Kasr-Ed-Shendi is a Girl Guide School Story full of outdoor adventure and friendship aimed at celebrating the female of the species in line with the true spirit of the Girl Guides.

Inscription

One of the main things I love about old books is finding inscriptions. This one has a lovely inscription which just adds to its rich history as far as I’m concerned. It reads ‘To dear Josie, Lambert & family, with love & best wishes for health, wealth & happiness now & always from auntie Pene. Dec 1973.’

I’ve tried to research this to no avail, but it’s quite a coincidence it’s signed auntie Pene – perhaps the author herself!?

Purchase

I can only find 3 copies of this rare, collectable book online. Sunrise Books are selling one on AbeBooks and Amazon Marketplace for £164.99. There is another copy on Amazon marketplace for £95, and one on Ebay in France for 194.99 Euros.

I’m selling my copy for £75, which you can view in full here

Does this book mean anything to you? I’d love to hear more about the history of this book and Penelope Fletcher. 

 

 

 

 

 

This Week in Books 15.03.17 #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. 

Hope you’re all having a great week!  Here’s what mine has looked like:

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

I’ve not made much of a start on King’s Cage yet but so far so good.  I’m also stiiiiiiiiiiill going on The Time Machine at lunch-times.

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

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: ??? 

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

New on the Shelves

I haven’t bought or requested any books this week. Pat on the back for me! 😮

I’m Waiting On…

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!

theloniestgirl

 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 🙂

This Week in Books 08.03.17 #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. 

Bit later than I usually post but I made it!  Here’s what my week has looked like:

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Now: The Invisible Hand ~ James Hartley // Girl in Disguise ~ Greer Macallister // The Time Machine ~ H.G Wells

I’ve only just started The Invisible Hand but it’s been a good first impression. I’m just over half-way through Girl in Disguise with is released on the 21st of this month. I’m really enjoying it. I’m also stiiiiiiiiiiill going on The Time Machine at lunch-times.

Then:   All the Good Things ~ Clare Sita Fisher // The Mercy of the Tide ~ Keith Rosson

I really enjoyed All the Good Things which is an emotional read about one woman’s road to prison and coming to terms with what she did. I’ll be reviewing it soon. It’s not out until June. I unfortunately had to DNF Mercy of the Tide. It was really intriguing, and didn’t start off badly, but I just really wasn’t in the mood for it for some reason.

Next: ??? 

Definitely something from my physical TBR shelf. Maybe Six of Crows, The Chemist, or King’s Cage depending on what mood i’m in after my current reads.

New on the Shelves

 

From Netgalley:

kidsinorangeThe gang leader doesn’t like poetry, but will a detention center workshop show her how to express love for her newborn daughter?  A teen boy dies of a drug overdose. Will his final poem speak what he cannot say?  

I’m Waiting on…

I’ve already been approved for this which I’m delighted about. Love the idea of The Little Mermaid in graphic novel form. 

littlemermaidThe Little Mermaid is Hans Christian Andersen’s most celebrated tale and is beautifully adapted here as a graphic novel by the Eisner award nominated duo Metaphrog (Sandra Marrs and John Chalmers), winners of the Sunday Herald Scottish Culture Awards Best Visual Artist 2016, and authors of the acclaimed The Red Shoes and Other Tales.

The Little Mermaid lives deep under the ocean and longs to see the world above. When at last she is allowed to rise to the surface at age fifteen, she falls in love with a young prince. In order to become a human and to be with him, she makes a dangerous pact with the Sea Witch.

Expected Publication: 4th April by Papercutz

 

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.
 

Lazy Saturday Review: The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness #MiniReview #YA

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I started doing ‘lazy Saturday reviews’ as a way of getting reviews done in just 30 mins, and they proved to be quite popular. They are quick and snappy, and concentrate less on the plot (or content) and writing and more on my overall feelings about said book. They generally end up being a bit of a rant. My fave!

therestofusTitle: The Rest of Us Just Live Here
Author: Patrick Ness
Series: N/A
Format: Paperback, 434 pages
Publication Details: 
August 27th 2015 by Walker Books
Genre(s): YA; Fantasy; LGBT
Disclosure? Nope, I borrowed it from Dora, thanks Dora! 

Goodreads 

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What if you aren’t the Chosen One? The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?

What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.

Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.

Even if your best friend is worshipped by mountain lions.

Review

I wasn’t sure about this at first but ended up absolutely loving it. Patrick Ness has this amazing ability to nail that insecure, confusing time of adolescence when you don’t really understand who you are yet, and he does so in increasingly imaginative ways.

TROUJLH is set in a world where zombies and vampires are real, but the main characters aren’t part of that world, they’re always on peripheries  – just watching, they’re just the normal kids in world full of superheroes and martyrs.

I loved everything about this book – the way it was structured, the uniqueness of the premise, and as always, the execution by Ness was perfect. But it’s the characters that really stand out. All completely different and unique but startlingly real. Whether they’re gay, unsure, struggling with OCD, depressed, or desperate to go to a concert, they’re all just doing what everyone is trying to do – get through the day, the week, high school, life.

Have all the unicorns, Patrick Ness!

unicorn rating

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones #BookReview#YA #FantasyReads

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wintersongTitle:
 Wintersong
Author: S. Jae-Jones
Series: N/A
Format: Paperback, 508 pages
Publication Details: February 7th 2017 by Titan Books
Genre(s): YA; Fantasy; Romance
Disclosure? Nope I bought it! 

Goodreads 

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‘Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.’

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.

Review

Inspired by one of my favourite films of all time, Labyrinth, I met Wintersong with equal amounts of excitement and apprehension. It’s not a short book at 500ish pages, but it flew by…however, I don’t feel like I can say I loved it. In fact I’m really not sure how I felt about it and I finished it a couple of weeks ago!

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Basically, The Goblin King steals away Liesel’s beautiful sister Kathe to lure Liesel to the Underground where he plans on making her his bride. Liesel has always dreamt of The Goblin King. She’s drawn to his beauty and his power, but also fears him. There is a passion between the pair but being The Goblin King’s bride means leaving her family behind and never setting foot overground again.

Wintersong was certainly cringe-worthy in places, and outright bizarre in others, and it never went where I thought it would which is a double-edged sword in that it’s good that it was unpredictable but bad in that I wanted things to happen that didn’t.

Overall, I enjoyed this strange, slightly melancholic tale that brought a new Goblin King into my life. I obviously pictured a young Bowie with a ridiculous wig and an even more ridiculous cod piece but that’s not the point (swoon). There were some deliciously dark moments in Wintersong, but the relationship between the MC and The Goblin King never truly felt right, not even in that ‘so bad but good’ way.

I do think Jae-Jones has written a lovely tribute to Labyrinth though, and I also loved the evident use of, and inspiration from Rossetti’s The Goblin Market which I’ve only ever read snippets of but now want to read in its entirety.

“We must not look at goblin men,
We must not buy their fruits:
Who knows upon what soil they fed
Their hungry thirsty roots?”
“Come buy,” call the goblins
Hobbling down the glen.

– The Goblin Market

unicorn rating 4

(I rounded-up)

Online Writer’s Circle – Join me!? #Writing #WritersWanted

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I’m trying to write more and blog less at the moment…if you know what I mean. I have so many unfinished short stories, picture book ideas and one disaster of a YA novel and I think joining a writer’s circle/ group would be really useful, for motivation if nothing else.

This is where you guys come in. Does anyone want to join a casual, online writer’s circle (before I trawl the wider internet)? It would be really great to share work and get feedback from fellow bloggers instead of total randoms. If you’re interested leave a comment or email me (see contact page) and we can discuss it from there! 🙂 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Early 2017 Releases #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 I’m looking forward to in the first half of 2017.

It feels a bit premature to be looking to 2017 releases (especially considering I haven’t even done my November round-up yet), but we all know that it’s actually not!

Here are ten books that I hope to read in the first half of the year. They are not all necessarily released then.

The Chalk Pit – Elly Griffiths (23/2/17)

A Mother’s Reckoning – Sue Klebold (09/02/17)

Calling Major Tom – David M. Barnett (29/06/17)

Mercy of the Tide – Keith Rosson (21/02/17)

Girl in Disguise – Greer Macallister (21/03/17)

The Wingsnatcher’s – Sarah Jean Horowitz (25/04/17)

The Rest of Us Just Live Here – Patrick Ness (35/08/2015)

Wintersong – S. Jae-Jones (07/02/17)

The Chemist – Stephenie Meyer (08/11/16)

Heartless – Marissa Meyer (08/11/16)

 

 

 

The Silent Songbird by Melanie Dickerson #BookReview #YA

silentsongbirdTitle: The Silent Songbird
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Series: Hagenheim #7
Format: Digital ARC, 304 pages
Publication Details: November 8th 2016 by Thomas Nelson
Genre(s): YA; Historical Fiction
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free copy in exchange for an HONEST review. 

Goodreads 

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Evangeline longs to be free, to live in the world outside the castle walls. But freedom comes at a cost.

Evangeline is the ward and cousin of King Richard II, and yet she dreams of a life outside of Berkhamsted Castle, where she might be free to marry for love and not politics. But the young king betroths her to his closest advisor, Lord Shiveley, a man twice as old as Evangeline. Desperate to escape a life married to a man she finds revolting, Evangeline runs away from the king and joins a small band of servants on their way back to their home village.

To keep her identity a secret, Evangeline pretends to be mute. Evangeline soon regrets the charade as she gets to know Wesley, the handsome young leader of the servants, whom she later discovers is the son of a wealthy lord. But she cannot reveal her true identity for fear she will be forced to return to King Richard and her arranged marriage.

Wesley le Wyse is intrigued by the beautiful new servant girl. When he learns that she lost her voice from a beating by a cruel former master, he is outraged. But his anger is soon redirected when he learns she has been lying to him. Not only is she not mute, but she isn’t even a servant.

Weighed down by remorse for deceiving Wesley, Evangeline fears no one will ever love her. But her future is not the only thing at stake, as she finds herself embroiled in a tangled web that threatens England’s monarchy. Should she give herself up to save the only person who cares about her? If she does, who will save the king from a plot to steal his throne?

Review

My request-happy trigger finger strikes again and I requested this book based on the cover alone. What I didn’t realise was that it’s number 7 (SEVEN!) in a series, and that Melanie Dickerson is a popular Christian author. Oh dear.

Thankfully, the books in the  Hagenheim series can be read as stand-alones. Some characters do seem to crossover but each book follows a different protagonist. So no disasters so far.

The whole Christian thing however, was slightly more of an issue for me. I’m not religious at all, but I like to think I have an open mind so I didn’t let it put me off. And to be fair, I still enjoyed the story, but I did get a bit bored with all the praying. As the story progressed it got more and more preachy.

However, let’s go back to basics. The Silent Songbird is a gentle story about Evangeline, a sheltered princess-type who feels stifled living in the King’s castle. When the King insists she marry his conniving but trusted adviser, it’s the last straw and Evangeline runs away.

In a bid to hide her identity, she becomes Eva, and claims to be mute. She ends up working as a (pretty terrible) servant and falling in love with a handsome farm-boy.

There was definitely a lot to like in this book. I enjoyed the romance and that Evangeline could be feisty. I liked that she was willing to fight for what she wanted and that she wouldn’t settle for what most girls of her stature usually would. I thought she was a good role model.

Lord Shiveley, the man whom Evangeline has been promised to was a great villain who left a bad taste in my mouth and I was rooting for our protagonist and Westley the whole time.

I did however find the story pretty predictable, and as I said earlier, the praying and god-talk got a bit much at times. It was also supposed to be a retelling of  The Little Mermaid and other than the protagonist having red hair and a beautiful singing voice, I don’t think that came through much. There did seem to be lots of nods to The Princess Bride though, which I loved.

This was a nice introduction to Melanie Dickerson, and despite the Christian theme, I’d be interested to read more of her work; it was a very readable, enjoyable YA historical fiction romance.

unicorn rating 3