Sunday Salon – 18 November

fullsizeoutput_8b5Here we are again with another quick review of my week in reading and other stuff as needed.

Currently reading:

Global Crisis by Geoffrey Parker – war, catastrophe and climate change in the 17th century; I bought this as a gift for the Book God a couple of years ago but it is an enormous tome so treated myself to the Kindle version to make reading easier. Extremely interesting so far.

Bestial by Harold Schechter – from social outcast to necrophile and murderer – his appalling crimes stunned an era. This starts off in 1920s San Francisco and goes rapidly downhill from there. I’m fascinated by true crime (as most of you will have noticed I’m sure) and this story came up while I was listening to an old episode of My Favourite Murder (a brilliant podcast) so I dug this out from the virtual stacks.

Books finished this week:

Only one, The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll – a strong refresher for the planning method I use these days. Lots to think about.

Books bought this week:

  • Bedfellow by Jeremy C Shipp – a tense dark fantasy novel of psychological horror; sign me up!
  • Becoming by Michelle Obama – I think she’s awesome and I’m looking forward to reading this very much. Sadly didn’t get tickets for her appearance in London though….
  • Black Prince by Adam Roberts & Anthony Burgess –  a brutal historical tale of chivalry, religious belief, obsession, siege and bloody warfare based on an original script by the late Mr Burgess. I have a lot of respect for Adam Roberts and have read several of his books so I’m giving this a go because of him and the subject matter rather than Mr Burgess, whom I’ve always found difficult.
  • The Magpie Lord by KJ Charles – A lord in danger. A magician in turmoil. A snowball in hell. I don’t really read romance but this author was recommended and I thought I should read something outside my comfort zone, but not too far – this is SFF romance after all.

Things should start to get quiet as the pre-Christmas book-buying embargo sets in once wish lists have ben exchanged. I have made my list, checked it twice and will be handing it over later today.

Hope you have a great reading week!



Munday Salon – 12 October

fullsizeoutput_89dA day late but that’s how things roll around here sometimes! Today has been all about the rain and thunderstorms and the sad loss of both Douglas Rain and Stan Lee. My nerdish self is rather sad.

But now, to the books!

Currently reading?

The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll because I’m all about journalling and stationery and managing my busy retirement. I wish I’d found this while I was still working…..

I’m also about to start Global Crisis by Geoffrey Parker, one of my favourite historians (if it’s possible to have such a thing). This is all about war, climate change and catastrophe, but in the 17th century. It’s a chunkster which the Book God read in a very heavy paperback but I have on the Kindle app because of its very size.

Books finished?

  • The Ends of the World by Peter Brannen – the five great mass extinctions in Earth history and whether we’re heading for another one (or maybe even in it already). Lots to think about
  • Bird Box by Josh Malerman – I’ve had this for ages but was motivated to pick it up as there is going to be a film made of the story starring Sandra Bullock. It’s horror and will be interesting to see what they do with it

Reviews of both of these will follow soon

This week’s book haul:

  1. The Sentence is Death by Antony Horowitz – the second Daniel Hawthorne novel, I didn’t even realise this was out until I came across it by accident; loved the first one
  2. Someone Like Me by MR Carey – a heart-stopping psychological thriller with a twist you won’t see coming and a heroine you can’t trust . . .
  3. Notes from the Underwire by Quinn Cummings – memoir type-thing from someone I hadn’t hears of until I saw a brilliant story she told on Twitter and I was hooked
  4. Without the Moon by Cathi Unsworth – serial killer in London during the Blitz…
  5. The Weight of Lies by Emily Carpenter – ooh, family drama + 40 yr old murder + devastating truth = a good read (I hope)

Hope you all have a fabulous reading week!

Sunday Salon – 4 November

fullsizeoutput_88dThis has been a week full of medical appointments of one kind or another, all routine but not matter how kind and efficient everyone is it’s all just such a time suck. This is when the app on my phone comes into its own and I can merrily read away without lugging books around with me. Heresy I know but I really only read physical books when I’m at home these days.

Talking about books, I haven’t finished any books since the beginning of November but I’m making good progress with both of the works I’m currently reading:

  • Bird Box by Josh Malerman – I’ve had this one for a while but pulled it to the top of the TBR pile so I can read it in advance oft he Sandra Bullock movie which is coming to Netflix (I think) soon; and
  • The Ends of the World by Peter Brannen – as if horror wasn’t enough, I decided to treat myself to reading about the five biggest mass-extinctions in the Earth’s history. Keeps me cheerful

In terms of new books, yes I have bought more despite the fact that I was too embarrassed to share last month’s purchases on t’Internet. Some of these were pre-orders so I don’t feel quite so bad about that.

This week’s haul:

  • Devices & Desires by Kate Hubbard – an addition to my small but perfectly formed collection of books about Bess of Hardwick
  • Henry VIII & the Men Who Made Him by Tracy Borman – written by a former colleague from my PRO days, I can’t resist books about Henry even though I loathe him deeply. This looks especially interesting.
  • Titus Awakes by Maeve Gilmore & Mervyn Peake – more about this later in the post
  • Man With No Name by Laird Barron – crime meets horror
  • Chills by Mary SanGiovanni – horror meets crime
  • Madame Victoria by Catherine Leroux – French-Canadian novel about an unidentified woman’s body in a mortuary and 12 variations on what her life may have been like. Very interested in this one I must say.

The highlight of this week was the trip the Book God and I took to the British Library on Friday for their Mervyn Peake evening. Marking the 50th anniversary of his death, it was a lively discussion between Liz Jensen, Neil Gaiman, Chris Riddell and Fabian Peake, with readings from Gormenghast by Miranda Richardson. A very enjoyable evening with many things to think about. I’ve seen Neil Gaiman live before but not Chris Riddell, who produced the most amazing illustrations on stage while the readings were taking place. It has of course made me want to re-read Gormeghast, and triggered the purchase of the fourth book as mentioned above. Plugging it into my reading plans for nest year which though loose are beginning to take shape. Terrible photo below!


Hope you all have a fabulous reading week!


The Week in Review

IMG_0774I won’t lie – it’s been a quiet one. Apart from an outing to the osteopath (I have a shoulder problem, not affecting my drinking/eating arm thankfully 😀 ) and a visit to the cinema (the photo at the top of this post will give you a clue about the movie we saw), I’ve mostly been doing stuff at home in advance of our soon-to-be-upon-us annual holiday.

Here are the bookish stats:

Books finished:

Of course this means that I have exceeded my target of 52 books in 52 weeks, which I may just have mentioned before.

Currently reading:

  • Night Film – still reading this, will be trying to finish before my hols
  • Flowers in the Attic – a book club selection, which I haven’t read before; I must say that I am a bit wary

New books:

I am currently pulling together a selection of Kindle reads for my holiday, which I hope to share in my next Salon post.

Hope you all have a great reading week.

Tuesday is the New Sunday

IMG_2021Salon posting is a little late this week because the Book God and I were away for the weekend with the Jeff Hawke Club. We stayed at West Dean College in Sussex, a fabulous place which focusses on art and conservation and offers lots of courses at all levels.

There may have been a list to the craft shop where money may have changed hands for art supplies. There was certainly a lot of rain and quite a bit of Prosecco.

But you all want to know about the books….

Books finished:

  • Victorians Undone – a post will follow (also 51 down, 1 to go to meet my 2018 reading target)

Currently reading:

  • Night Film
  • The Cabin at the End of the World

New Books:

  • The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas – a time travel murder mystery
  • Lethal White by Robert Galbraith – the fourth Cormoran Strike novel
  • Queen Victoria by Lucy Worsley – HMQV through her diaries
  • Follow Me by Angela Clarke – all about the scariness of social media, like we need to be reminded 🙂
  • Wychwood: Hallowdene by George Mann – Reporter. Local Witch. Excavation of grave. Won’t end well
  • I Always Find You by John Ajvide Lindqvist – Something strange is going on in the building’s basement – and the price of entry is just a little blood.
  • The Detective’s Daughter by Lesley Thompson – Detective Darnell died before he closed the case. Can his daughter solve it thirty years later?
  • The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler – The groundbreaking first novel in the bestselling Joona Linna thriller series. Perfect for fans of Jo Nesbo. As stated by Amazon
  • An Absolutely Remarkable Think by Hank Green – impact of social media; when something astonishing happens how does it affect the people sharing it on the interwebs?

Other stuff:

As it was so wet we curtailed our outings at the weekend, but before that we did manage to visit Butser Ancient Farm – this is a fascinating place which is a centre for experimental archaeology, demonstrating daily life in ancient Britain. It has buildings from the late Iron Age in pre-Roman times, as well as a reconstruction of a Roman villa. Here are a couple of photos.

Hope you have a great reading week.

September So Far

img_0762Long time no presence on the blogosphere. I have spent the past few weeks thinking about what I wanted to do with my blogs and decided that I wanted to re-launch with one single site that would cover all of my interests. So, welcome to the first post on my new site 😀  I thought I would start off with an update on what’s been happening in September so far.

Books read:

  • Dead Lions by Mick Herron – review to follow
  • Evil at Heart by Chelsea Cain – review to follow

Books bought:

  • The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker – decided to get the book rather than watch the TV series
  • Sadie by Courtney Summers – “if she dies, she takes the truth with her”
  • The Chrysalis by Brendan Deneen – don’t go into the basement, apparently
  • The Book of the Unnamed Midwife by Meg Alison – more post-apocalyptic stuff; I am unable to resist this sort of thing
  • Transcription by Kate Atkinson – I loved Life After Life and God in Ruins so very much looking forward to this one; saving it for my holiday in October
  • Real Tigers by Mick Herron – the third Jackson Lamb novel; love these
  • The Night Season by Chelsea Cain – the fourth Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell serial killer books
  • The Real Lolita by Sarah Weinman – the basis for the notorious novel (which I still haven’t read, though I really should)
  • Scienceville (and Other Lost Worlds) by Gary Gibson – excellent British sci-fi in short story form
  • The Bone Key by Sarah Monette – how could I resist something subtitled as necromantic mysteries?
  • Codename Villanelle by Luke Jennings – the basis for the BBC series Killing Eve – see below

Currently reading:

  • Victorians Undone
  • Night Film

I’ve also been watching quite a bit of TV, as the autumn season kicks in and new drama is appearing on all channels. Bodyguard is really addictive but soon to finish, and I’ve just started Trust, Killing Eve and A Discovery of Witches – all look very promising. Actually, Killing Eve is awesome, as you might have gathered from the last item on the purchase list above.

If I finish the two books I’m reading now then I will hit 52 books this week, meeting my 2018 reading target 3 months early. Yay me!!

Hope you all have a great reading week.