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.

 

another book haul

Yes, another week, another pile of books is accumulated

*sigh*

*big smile*

here they be:

books i did buy for me

Yes, its true i have the two Isabel Greenberg graphic novels, at last, in my life and in my hot little hands *dances for joy*

I treated myself using gift vouchers i was kindly given for Crimbo.  Aren’t they bloody gorgeous? Oh yes they are!

Also i buyed me these

Yes, you’re right what am i doing buying 4 sci fi books when i dont read sci fi?

Well thats a good question but somehow i just fancied me some so Space type books and as im reading (slowly) The long way to a small angry planet it seemed sensible to buy the sequel.  Mind you I am annoyed with myself that i didnt notice it was only out in hardback *waves fist in air*

and now for some books i was kindlee sent by those sooper dooper publishy types

I was approached by Quercus who asked if id like a copy of Hattie Hoffman and after doing a bit of detective work on Amazon i said “yes please”  It is written from perspective of three characters in the first person so whats not to like there?

I responded to a blogger call on Twitter for a copy of Spontaneous which sounds rather unusual to say the least. (people spontaneously combusting, but humourously?) so thank Canongate books, i think!

and finally I was sent Skintown completely unsolicited by W5 books (Johnathan & Hannah) and Doubleday.  There is no way I would ever buy this for myself, its way out of the old comfort zone but a tiny bit i read is very funny and has whetted the old appetite for more, so who knows eh?  Its written by an actor dont you know?  Ciaran McMenamin was in Primeval which i used to watch until it became so barmy only a brain dead amoeba could follow it.

So there we have it, what larks eh?

How i keep organised with new books

Watching so many book tubers as i do I get to hear about loads and loads of stupendous new books coming out in a few weeks/months time. Now i dont know about you but i cant keep track of them all and their publishing dates and i’d hate to miss even one of them being available for purchasing, wouldnt you?

So whats the solution?

Spreadsheets!  yes thats right a good old fashioned spreadsheet.

Here’s one i made earlier:

I find it so useful for keeping track of whats coming out.  A lot of the books are most probably already published as i dont really buy hardback books so this is mostly for me to see when the paperback version comes out.  I hate having to wait so long for them when i really want to read the book.

You are welcome to use this information if it helps.

How do you keep track of books youre waiting for to arrive?

3 fab YA titles

I’m getting back into YA books with a vengeance lately and these 3 titles sound excellent.

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I’m a bit late to the party with The Potion Diaries and have tried to read it last year but am so in the groove for this right now, immensely looking forward to delving into this properly.

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I think Ned’s Circus of Marvels may be more MG than YA but I just adore that cover and the premise sounds good too so i couldnt resist getting it.

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The Graces is the book i’m currently reading and it is ace! I love me anything witchy and a bit quirky like that and this is doing it for me right now. Look at that cover too its bloomin luverlee!

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Have you read any of these?

What are your top YA books right now?

Lets chat

puzzle book fun

Don’t know about you but I love solving puzzles. Not the Sudoku kind, I find those a bit samey but number and mathematical puzzles are what I love.

Getting my teeth into working out the next number in a sequence puzzle or what is the missing number in a row of numbers which need to be added to or subtracted, that kind of thing.

So these two books I got from Amazon are gonna keep me really entertained for ages!

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Here are some sneek peeks of the pages

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I’m sure i’m not the best solver of these as i tend to use the trial and error method which can take ages and i’m sure there may be a more logical and mathematical way of doing it but, hell i don’t care, i’m having fun.

3 fab books coming in September

It feels to me to have been a quiet summer for books, certainly ive not come across anything that lights my fire but, come September all that will change.

There are 3 books – most likely more than that in the end – that sound amazing! Two of them are already out in hardback but anyone who knows me, knows that i dislike hardback books with a vengeance so I will always wait for the paperback if I can.

Ive heard loads about Big Magic and i do love a self help type book so that will be fun. Its out on 22nd September.

Cogheart looks and sounds ‘the business’ I mean, look at that cover, its so cool. Its out on 1st September so not that long to wait now and

The Forgettting Time is one I just cannot wait to read. I read the free excerpt that was on Twitter the other day and i was hooked, it sounds so original in its concept. It too is out on 1st September so I may even pre-order those two books so make sure i dont miss ’em.

What books are you looking forward to in September?

June book haul – Part 2

Welcome to my second June book haul post. I have been mega lucky this month with books sent to me plus i did indulge myself using a gift voucher from Christmas. (incidentally there are only 25 weeks to next Christmas! Hee hee) Anyway, here’s what i hauled.

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Isnt that just a glorious sight to behold?

Books sent for review

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Smoke by Dan Vyleta – I’ve already begun reading this but it didnt hold my attention as much as i’d hoped but I will persevere in the future.

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The Tidal Zone by Sarah Moss – I find this cover so striking, it has to be my cover design of 2106 so far, its amazing and makes me want to pick it without knowing anything about it. Everyone I have seen talking about it on Twitter or You Tube reckon its the business so i’m so excited to read it.

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Bodies of Water by V.H. Leslie – This is another book that has been doing the rounds on You Tube and always being highly spoken of and i can understand why. I’m currently reading it and its wonderful.


Books I splurged on

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We should all be feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – I’ve already read this as its little more than a pamphlet in some ways but a powerful little book that I really enjoyed. I plan to do a post on sexism as a few points she mentioned really hit home.

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Girls will be girls by Emer O’Toole – Lauren from Reads and Daydreams on You Tube sold this to me in about 5 mins during one of her wonderful videos. I began reading it as soon as it came but i’m not getting on with it really. She makes some interesting points but i cant help feeling its more of an excuse to write an autobiography even though she isnt well enough known for that yet. IMHO anyway.

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How hard can love be? by Holly Bourne – Holly is such a funny writer but her books are normally not my thing at all, however i began reading this on Amazon and its really sweet and very funny so i had to buy it for a bit of light reading.

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Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – I am way late to the party as they say on this one but having read her feminist book I just love her writing style so decided to give this a go and the cover aint half bad either eh?  The only problem I have with this is the font size. Its ridiculously small!  Why oh why publishers are you doing this to me lately? I am considering sending it back and buying it in ebook form to read on my iPad, at least that way i can control the font size.

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Romantic Outlaws by Charlotte Gordon – Isnt this another stunnner and its a right chunker to at over 600 pages! what am i thinking? books over 300 usually stump me. However this does sound amazing fun and i do love a biography about strong women. Sadly this is another victim of stupidly small font syndrome (SSFS) but i dont think i can part with this for a boring flat ebook version, i just wanna hug it all the time.

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Sweet Home by Carys Bray – this is a book of short stories which sound so good albeit heartbreaking and sad apparently. I havent read any of her other books but couldnt resist this one. Just look at that cover too its a stunner!

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Slade House by David Mitchell – This has been on my wish list for months and ive been waiting for it to come out in paperback form. The cover is beautiful and has a shiny slightly embossed design but the back is just as gorgeous look! I read a sample on Amazon months back and cant wait to find out more so this is near to the top of my TBR already.

Well thats it folks, what books have you hauled this month?

Where has this year gone? half of it is now over already! madness!

Do I overuse this! I think i do.

 

June book haul – Part 1

I havent done a haul in ages but how could i not when this lot came through my door yesterday!

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Oh the beauty!

2 of them were sent for review and the other 4 were books i just couldnt resist buying.

Books Bought

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I’ve been hearing lots about Sarah Moss from many booktubers so while im waiting for her new book The Tidal Zone to come out I thought i’d get this.

Anna Bennett hasn’t slept in months. Overwhelmed by the needs of her two young boys and opposed on principle to domesticity, Anna is a historian struggling to write without a room of her own. Stranded on a Hebridean island where her husband is researching the puffins, Anna’s work changes when her son finds a baby’s skeleton buried in the garden. As an investigation begins, Anna must confront the island’s past while finding a way to live with the competing demands of the present.

I love the sound of this and cant wait to get reading.

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I first learnt of this from another favourite booktuber, Jean at Jeanbookishthoughts

Go check out her channel, she’s so damn enthusiastic and she sold this to me in seconds

Its about Elizabeth I and faeries! I mean how can you not like that combination?

England flourishes under the hand of Elizabeth I, last of the Tudor monarchs. But a great light cast a shadow. In hidden catacombs beneath London, a second queen holds court: Invidiana, ruler of faerie England, and a dark mirror to the glory above.

Flicking through it feels like an exciting fantasy ride but not too simple a read

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I saw this on Jen Campbell’s and also on Leena’s brilliant channel JustKissMyFrog

Leena’s review left me in no doubt that she adored it and she really should go back to book selling coz she convinced me to rush out and buy a copy.

Its a short story collection and i’m trying to read more short stories right now. Here is a quote from the back cover:

Dance like nobody gives a crap. Drink like you don’t have a family to go home to. Love because what else is the point.

They’re quite small stories some just 4 pages long so i’m really looking forward to this one.

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Check out this cover! Its shiny in parts of the design, can you see at the top left corner? This is a contender for cover of the year and the back is just as cool.

The tree design is also on every new chapter page too. Lushness abounding!

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I’ve been looking at this book for ages and just had to get it.

The babies were born as the clocks struck twelve. The spell had been cast.

I know i’m gonna love this book!

Books sent for review

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This was one I requested from and was kindly sent by Quercus books and MacLehose Press. Again we have another stunner of a cover. Its so shiny and lovely isnt it? *hugs book*

Sophie is haunted by the things she can’t remember – and visions from the past she will never forget.

Sounds suspenseful and exciting, not one to be read in the wee small hours though im guessing.

and last but never least we have

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This was a lovely surprise and is a re-packaging of a book first published ten years ago in a gorgeous new commemorative edition.

I havent read it but I do love Gabrielle’s work as I read ‘The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by her last year. See HERE for review.

Liz isnt even sixteen when she is killed in a hit-and-run accident. It’s not fair. Liz will never get a job, never get married, never have children. She will never fall in love. Or will she?

Loads of folk are saying how wonderful it is so i’m really thrilled to have been sent this by Bloomsbury.

Have you read any of these? Did you like them?

Let me know and we can chat about them or tell me about your latest hauls, im so nosy when it comes to books

 

3 Books that have let me down

Now I don’t expect to like every book i buy or receive for review, its a rare person that does in my opinion but there have been 3 books recently which I felt certain I would love, not like, love.

Sadly that didnt happen.

What books were they?

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After buying and adoring her first book, In a dark dark wood last year I was so excited to hear she had a second book coming out soon. I was even more excited to receive an early copy of it the other week.

Imagine then my disappointment when i discovered that its such a let down. *sighs and puts head into hands*

It begins fine, really good in fact. Gripping, fast pacing and with heart stopping moments of genius but then it just all went downhill. The main character, ‘call me Lo’ (Lauren) seemed to lack any kind of common sense or good judgement and was never a fully rounded person. The story descended into a third rate Agatha Christie novel but with less polish and plot. I could almost guess what was coming next which was a shame. Im hoping her next book will get things back on track.


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I hadn’t read any Anne Tyler before so combine this with it being one of the Hogarth Shakespeare re-tellings to celebrate Shakespeare 400 and I badly wanted to read it. I was kindly sent a copy by them and it made my day.

Now this is the book i’m least disappointed with really out of the 3 but it just feels so empty and flat. Its like the mad craze for fluffy egg white omelettes, no substance. I keep waiting for something to happen but it just idles along. Its very funny in places i’ll grant you that and a nice gentle read but its just not what i was expecting thats all.


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This book promised so much and when i was asked if i’d like to review it i jumped at the chance. I mean just look at that cover, front and back is gorgeous (seen here being modelled by my cat, Meg).

I just didnt gel with this, it was just another YA, love story, triangle, boy/girl heartbreak story. Nothing special happens that i can see and the ending was waving at me from about page 10.

Have you read any of these?

Am I being too hard on them?

Let me know what you think.

4 books coming in June that I NEED in my life

June, it has occurred to me is going to be a bumper book publishing month.

Top titles by top authors will pour into bookshops in just a few short weeks time, in fact some of them in less than a week. But, there are 4 books which I really, really, really, really want in my life, on my shelves and in my hands so i can hug them.

Erm, yes well. So what? i like hugging books!

What books are these Gill? I hear you cry!

Here’s a synopsis for each one of them, see if you like the sound of them too

I Call Myself a Feminist

Is feminism still a dirty word? We asked twenty-five of the brightest, funniest, bravest young women what being a feminist in 2015 means to them. We hear from Laura Bates (of the Everyday Sexism Project), Reni Eddo-Lodge (award-winning journalist and author), Yas Necati (an eighteen-year-old activist), Laura Pankhurst, great-great granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst and an activist in her own right, comedian Sofie Hagen, engineer Naomi Mitchison and Louise O’Neill, author of the award-winning feminist Young Adult novel Only Ever Yours. Writing about a huge variety of subjects, we have Martha Mosse and Alice Stride on how they became feminists, Amy Annette addressing the body politic, Samira Shackle on having her eyes opened in a hostel for survivors of acid attacks in Islamabad, while Maysa Haque thinks about the way Islam has informed her feminism and Isabel Adomakoh Young insists that women don’t have to be perfect. There are twelve other performers, politicians and writers who include Jade Anouka, Emily Benn, Abigail Matson-Phippard, Hajar Wright and Jinan Younis. Is the word feminist still to be shunned? Is feminism still thought of as anti-men rather than pro-human? Is this generation of feminists – outspoken, funny and focused – the best we’ve had for long while? Has the internet given them a voice and power previously unknown? Rachel Holmes’ most recent book is Eleanor Marx: A Life; Victoria Pepe is a literary scout; Amy Annette is a comedy producer currently working on festivals including Latitude; Alice Stride works for Women’s Aid and Martha Mosse is a freelance producer and artist.

I’ve never really been interested in Feminism before now but its absolutely everywhere on social media right now so I thought it was about time I took a look for myself.


Slade House by David Mitchell

Turn down Slade Alley – narrow, dank and easy to miss, even when you’re looking for it. Find the small black iron door set into the right-hand wall. No handle, no keyhole, but at your touch it swings open. Enter the sunlit garden of an old house that doesn’t quite make sense; too grand for the shabby neighbourhood, too large for the space it occupies.

A stranger greets you and invites you inside. At first, you won’t want to leave. Later, you’ll find that you can’t.

This unnerving, taut and intricately woven tale by one of our most original and bewitching writers begins in 1979 and comes to its turbulent conclusion around Hallowe’en, 2015. Because every nine years, on the last Saturday of October, a ‘guest’ is summoned to Slade House. But why has that person been chosen, by whom and for what purpose? The answers lie waiting in the long attic, at the top of the stairs . . .

I read a sample of this last year and it blew my socks off so how can i not get this to find out what does happen in Slade House.


The Hawkweed Prophecy by Irena Brignull

A gorgeous, bewitching story of two outcast girls whose lives are twisted by an ancient prophecy. Who will be queen of the witches?

The babies were born as the clock struck twelve. A bat fell from the air mid-flight. A silver salmon floated dead to the surface of the river. Snails withered in their shells, moths turned to dust on the night breeze and an owl ate its young. The spell had been cast.

Poppy Hooper has managed to deceive her father into believing that there is nothing mysterious or unnatural about her. He ignores the cats that find her wherever she goes, the spiders that weave beautiful lacy patterns for her, even her eyes – one blue, one green with an extra black dot orbiting the pupil.

Ember Hawkweed is a pitiful excuse for a witch. When the other girls in her coven brew vile potions, Ember makes soap and perfume. Fair and pretty, Ember is more like a chaff than a witch.

When the two girls meet, Poppy discovers her powers, and finds out the truth. Bound by their unlikely friendship and the boy they both love, the girls try and find their place in the world. But the time of the prophecy draws nearer – and the witches won’t give up the throne without a fight.

I came across a mention of this just the other day and it sounds very intriguing plus the cover is not bad either.


 The Gap of Time by Jeanette Winterson

A baby girl is abandoned, banished from London to the storm-ravaged American city of New Bohemia. Her father has been driven mad by jealousy, her mother to exile by grief.

Seventeen years later, Perdita doesn’t know a lot about who she is or where she’s come from – but she’s about to find out.

Jeanette Winterson’s cover version of The Winter’s Tale vibrates with echoes of Shakespeare’s original and tells a story of hearts broken and hearts healed, a story of revenge and forgiveness, a story that shows that whatever is lost shall be found.

This is part of the Hogarth Shakespeare series of Shakespeares plays re-told and although The Winters Tale is not a particular favourite of mine I just love the idea of a modern re-telling and its by Jeanette Winterson who everyone raves about, so it ticks two boxes for me.

What books are you looking forward to in June?

Have you read any of these as proof copies?