June book haul

Yes, its happened again! I appear to have accumulated a few more books

*sighs loudly with head in hands*

But hey, its cool and I am NOT sorry and this is why!

Now you cant tell me thats doesnt get your blood pumping with excitement, can you?

anyway lets just do this thing shall we?

Here are the books I was kindly sent by publishers

Stevie over at Gollancz kindly contacted me to see if I wanted a copy of Sarah Pinboroughs The Death House and of course I said YES!

Toby is a boy who has forgotten how to live. Clara is a girl who was born to die. Toby’s life was perfectly normal . . . Taken from his family, Toby now lives in the Death House. Isolated from the outside world the inhabitants of are watched for any signs of a mysterious illness . . . Clara was a girl who had everything. Adored by her friends and her family, her life was destined for greatness. Now, Clara is the newest resident of the Death House and she’s determined not to allow her life to end there. This is Toby and Clara’s story.

Next Lucie at Picador sent me The Reminders by Val Emmich!  I requested it afer having seen pictures of it on Twitter.

Overcome with the loss of his boyfriend Sydney, Gavin Winters has set fire to every reminder in their home. A neighbour has captured the blaze on video, turning this little-known TV actor into a household name. Gavin flees LA for New Jersey, where he hopes that ten-year-old Joan, the daughter of a close friend, can reconnect him with the memories of Sydney he is now in danger of losing for ever. Joan was born with a rare ability to recall every single day of her life in perfect detail, and in return for sharing her memories of Sydney, Gavin will help her write a song for a local competition. For Joan has had enough of being the girl who can’t forget – she wants to be the girl who will never be forgotten . . . Charming, beautifully observed, poignant and funny, The Reminders by actor and musician Val Emmich is an irresistible story of the unlikely friendship between a grief-stricken man who can’t remember and a ten-year-old girl who can’t forget.

and last but not least in any way Michael Joseph Books sent me My Name is Nobody by Matthew Richardson.

Solomon Vine was the best of his generation, a spy on a fast track to the top. But when a prisoner is shot in unexplained circumstances, and on his watch, only suspension and exile beckon. Three months later, in Istanbul, MI6’s Head of Station is violently abducted from his home. With the Service in lockdown, uncertain of who can be trusted, thoughts turn to the missing man’s oldest friend: Solomon Vine. Officially suspended, Vine can operate outside the chain of command to uncover the truth. But his investigation soon reveals that the disappearance heralds something much darker. And that there’s much more at stake than the life of a single spy . . .

Now to show you all the books i naughtily bought myself!

I adored the Harry Potter series like so many millions of readers but i’ve not bought them in any other form since they came out the first time round but once i saw the new ‘House editions’ I knew i had to have one and being a Hufflepuff it was the yellow one for me, and how gorgeous it is too with the sprayed edges for goodness sake!

 

 

 

The Descent of Man by Grayson Perry, Man Up by Jack Urwin and The Gender Games by Juno Dawson are all on the theme of men and gender which is something i’m fascinated by and have to admit I hadnt thought much about before so I am gonna love reading these.

I couldnt resist the next two mainly due to their gorgeous new matching covers. Lorali and Aurabel by Laura Dockrill sound so good and I’ve not heard a bad thing about Lorali so it was a no brainer! And The Serpent King & Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner both looked and sounded so good and they have been so highly recommended on You Tube that I had to see for myself.  Dont they make a great package?

 

 

I am so, so, so, so late to the party when it comes to Philip Pullmans His Dark Materials. I did read Book 1 a good many years back but never got around to the rest but since reading a sneaky first chapter of his new upcoming Prequel, The Book of Dust coming out in October I knew i had to read me the others first. I loved the chapter so much I have pre-ordered me a copy.  I just adore these new covers too with the shiny parts and the oh so subtle design, so much better than the previous garish ones, IMHO.

 

And finally, I really fancied some poetry and it has to be modern poetry nowadays. I just cant read the old classics right now, dont ask me why! ( I said, dont) Having heard good things about Plum by Holly McNish I had to get me a copy.

 

 

 

 

Well there you have it.  A very tasty selection I think you’ll agree.

What books have you bought this month?

What do you think of my choices, and what books would you recommend based on these?

 

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June (proof copies) TBR

I’m going against type here by choosing a TBR coz by nature im a mood reader but I badly need to read some of the gorgeous proofs I get sent and these five are making my mouth water in a BIG way!

I asked those gorgeous folk at Vintage Books for a copy of Bluets and The Red Parts by Maggie Nelson and they kindly sent them to me. They are both published tomorrow 1st June. Look how bloody lovely those covers are too.

Stevie over at Gollancz very kindly sent me Black Wing by Ed McDonald after i requested a copy. It has gosh darn wonderful black sprayed edges and the story sounds quite thrilling.

False Hearts by Laura Lam is another gorgeous book and one I have long been waiting for to arrive in paperback form. Another sprayed edge beauty, this time in red. I really cant wait to dive in to this one.

And last but never least Moonrise by Sarah Crossan. I was beyond thrilled to get a copy of this from the splendid folk at Bloomsbury.  I adored Sarah’s book One which i read in 2015 i think so cant wait to start this one. Its published in July.

Well there you have it on paper.

I have stated five books I want to read in June.  See you back here in one month to see how well i did.

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Victoria sponge holds no fears for me now!

I asked my son what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday and he chose a Victoria sponge! I was all ready to bake a sticky ginger cake or a lemon drizzle both of which he loves so when he asked for this i was like

I’m an average baker with many failed bakes behind me so I wasnt confident of success but I found me a Mary Berry Recipe. I mean she is not called the Queen of baking for nothing. Anyhow I followed her all-in-one recipe (i.e you bung all ingredients in at same time and blitz them with an electric mixer) and this was the result.

I was thrilled with it and son said it was amazing, so job done!

Thanks Mary you are Star baker this week!

Here is a link to the recipe if you fancy giving it a go

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/mary_berrys_perfect_34317

send me pics, let me know how it went

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A book haul did you say? dont mind if i do!

Just a quick post to share with you some of the splendiferous books that I appear to have acquired recently. They seem to magnetically attach to my hands! No idea how it happens but hey, whos complaining?

First we have some rather lovely books i was sent by those splendid folk called publishers

I am especially excited to have New Boy by Tracy Chevalier as its part of the Hogarth Shakespeare re-imagined series. I now own almost 4 (one is in the post to me as i type) out of the 8 books they are publishing where modern days authors re-imagine a selection of  Shakespeare plays.


I also bought a few books myself (well I am a bookaholic so no excuses needed eh?)

What a stack!

I am so excited to have a copy of Replica at last plus The Hate You Give and you can see another two books in the Hogarth Shakespeare series here; A Gap in Time and My name is Shylock.

I’ll be doing a post on all the books in the series later in the month.

Anything you fancy here?   Or do you have any book recs for me? (they are always welcome)

 

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A Life Discarded – I wish i’d found them

This is my current read

Its about 148 diaries found thrown away in a skip back in 2001 i think it was.  How i’d love to have found those!  Its my dream to find old diaries, documents, journals and photos at bootfairs and the like.  I am such a nosy parker into the past and peoples lives, its true.

But look at the cover, especially the quote on the top right.

Yes! Benedict Cumberbatch says he couldnt put it down! What more incentive do i need to read it than this?

Incidentally, I am gripped so far!

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

Well i finally finished it!

Anyone would think it was a 400 page chunker not an 80 page novella its taken me so long but, the truth is… I didnt really enjoy it!

It was fascinating from the African/Namibian heritage side of Binti’s character but the actual plot in space with the aliens was PANTS!  I never cared about any of the characters, they were all 1 dimensional and boring. The plot was hard to follow and disjointed and I feel a bit sad about the whole thing.  I really wanted to love it but its taken me 2 months to read 80 pages! Ive done it in fits and starts over that time which just proves that its not my thing.

I bought the sequel Binti Home at the same time as Binti so who knows what i’ll make of that but I can’t say I really like Nnedi’s writing. Its nothing special, but maybe she improves in the next book.

I’ll report back.

The Female Man by Joanna Russ

I got fed up waiting for a special book to arrive (which should be here today) yesterday and began reading this instead

Its one of three books from the SF Masterworks collection of classic Science Fiction that i was uber kindly sent by Stevie over at Orion/Gollancz books. This was first published in 1975 and i just adore the old style, almost cheesy covers of all the books in this set.

Its about 4 different versions of the same women from 4 different/parallel universes sort of thingy. It makes for damn confusing reading at times, there are paragraphs of ‘stream of consciousness’ writing like Virginia Woolf which is really hard to get into the groove of.

I had about a million questions and I was only 23 pages in!

I dont think im the target audience this book is intended for and certainly with it having been published over 40 years ago it reads very old fashioned, but…

…having said all that I really did quite enjoy it! Yay!

The humour in it is wonderful, very tongue in cheek in places. Full of sarcasm and wit and with a very strong feminist message. I tabbed quite a few pages as you can see. I wanted to remember some of the classic lines.

I’m not sure it was the perfect SFF starting point for me but I cant wait to read some more of the wonderful Masterworks series.

Have you read this? what did you think?

 

 

 

 

5 books i’m eagerly anticipating this year

Set in the near-distant future, Spaceman follows a Czech astronaut as he launches into space to investigate a mysterious dust cloud covering Venus, a suicide mission sponsored by a proud nation. Suddenly a world celebrity, Jakub’s marriage starts to fail as the weeks go by, and his sanity comes into question. After his mission is derailed he must make a violent decision that will force him to come to terms with his family’s dark political past.

There is so much buzz about this right now and i cant wait to get a copy and dive in

Published in hardback 9th March 2017

Turn REPLICA one way and read Lyra’s story; turn the book over and upside down and read Gemma’s story! Lyra’s story begins in the Haven Institute, a building tucked away on a private island off the coast of Florida that from a distance looks serene and even beautiful. But up close the locked doors, military guards, and biohazard suits tell a different story. In truth, Haven is a clandestine research facility where thousands of replicas, or human models, are born, raised, and observed. When a surprise attack is launched on Haven, two of its young experimental subjects – Lyra, aka number 24, and the boy known only as 72 – manage to escape. Gemma has been in and out of hospitals for as long as she can remember. A lonely teen, her life is circumscribed by home, school, and her best friend, April. But after she is nearly abducted by a stranger claiming to know her, Gemma starts to investigate her family’s past and discovers her father’s mysterious connection to the secretive Haven Institute. Hungry for answers, she travels to Florida, only to stumble upon two replicas and a completely new set of questions. While the stories of Lyra and Gemma mirror each other, each contains breathtaking revelations critically important to the other story. REPLICA is an ambitious, thought-provoking masterwork.

This is such a clever idea to have two stories and make it a flip book. Anything a bit out of the norm and i am hooked.

Published in paperback 6th April 2017

What isn’t written, isn’t remembered. Even your crimes. Nadia lives in the city of Canaan, where life is safe and structured, hemmed in by white stone walls and no memory of what came before. But every twelve years the city descends into the bloody chaos of the Forgetting, a day of no remorse, when each person’s memories — of parents, children, love, life, and self — are lost. Unless they have been written. In Canaan, your book is your truth and your identity, and Nadia knows exactly who hasn’t written the truth. Because she is the only person in Canaan who has never forgotten. But when Nadia begins to use her memories to solve the mysteries of Canaan, she discovers truths about herself and Gray, the handsome glassblower, that will change her world forever. As the anarchy of the Forgetting approaches, Nadia and Gray must stop an unseen enemy that threatens both their city and their own existence — before the people can forget the truth. And before Gray can forget her.

What a cool concept this sounds and that cover is stonkingly beautiful too.

Published in paperback 25th July 2017

Midwinter in the early years of this century. A teenage girl on holiday has gone missing in the hills at the heart of England. The villagers are called up to join the search, fanning out across the moors as the police set up roadblocks and a crowd of news reporters descends on their usually quiet home. Meanwhile, there is work that must still be done: cows milked, fences repaired, stone cut, pints poured, beds made, sermons written, a pantomime rehearsed. The search for the missing girl goes on, but so does everyday life. As it must. As the seasons unfold there are those who leave the village and those who are pulled back; those who come together or break apart. There are births and deaths; secrets kept and exposed; livelihoods made and lost; small kindnesses and unanticipated betrayals. Bats hang in the eaves of the church and herons stand sentry in the river; fieldfares flock in the hawthorn trees and badgers and foxes prowl deep in the woods – mating and fighting, hunting and dying. An extraordinary novel of cumulative power and grace, Reservoir 13 explores the rhythms of the natural world and the repeated human gift for violence, unfolding over thirteen years as the aftershocks of a stranger’s tragedy refuse to subside.

Mystery, thriller and what sounds like some gorgeous descriptive skills. Whats not to like here people?

Published in hardback 6th April 2017

Lovelace was once merely a ship’s artificial intelligence. When she wakes up in an new body, following a total system shut-down and reboot, she has to start over in a synthetic body, in a world where her kind are illegal. She’s never felt so alone. But she’s not alone, not really. Pepper, one of the engineers who risked life and limb to reinstall Lovelace, is determined to help her adjust to her new world. Because Pepper knows a thing or two about starting over. Together, Pepper and Lovey will discover that, huge as the galaxy may be, it’s anything but empty. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet introduced readers to the incredible imagination of Becky Chambers and has been nominated for any number of awards and accolades, including the Baileys Prize for Women’s Fiction, the Tiptree Award, the Kitschies Golden Tentacle and the Arthur C. Clarke Award.

another book that has had people talking for months now, i just need this in my life!

Published in paperback 15th June 2017

I am so, so excited for all these books, the first one being available in just 5 days and the last making me wait 4 whole months! (agony)  Three of them being SFF which is my latest book passion too!

What books are you looking forward to reading this year?  Do you like any of my choices?

 

Planetfall by Emma Newman

For some reason 2017 wants me to read more Science fiction/fantasy books, dont ask me why but it does!  I’m not arguing though when Planetfall is so bloody good!

In their search for a new and better life than the one that they had on the overpopulated Earth, Suh lead a group of 1000 people – including her partner and lover Ren – to another planet. Then Suh mysteriously vanished, and only Ren and the Ringleader know the truth behind her disappearance. Now, two decades later, a stranger who looks suspiciously like Suh wanders into the colony, flooding Ren with memories of the traumatic event she fought so hard to bury. And if she reveals the secret she has kept for so long, it could ruin everything the colonists built…

 

I reckon that this is an excellent book to begin with if you are just starting to read SFF. It has just the right amount of excitement, suspense, thrills and emotions to keep you reading but not too much technical spacey stuff to put you off.

Renata or Ren is such a great character, flawed but ultimately so realistic. I felt for her on so many occasions which i why i loved the ending so much (read it and see if you agree, well i defy you not to really)

Beautifully written, the pace never slackened off for a second and for someone who hates all the world building in fantasy novels, Emma made this world come alive for me in such a short space of time I was sure I must be reading book 2 or 3 about these characters, so comfortable did i become with them.

Slowly the tension builds and builds until you just cant put the book down for a second or you’ll miss something. I read the last 80 pages in one gulp just to find out what would happen. Oh boy it was just great!

I ‘ve just bought the next book in the Planetfall series which is this baby

and im so looking forward to diving into it.

As i’m new(ish) to SFF what books would you recommend I read to keep my interest going?

What are you reading right now?

Lets chat.

 

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