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Posted in Weekly Wrap Up

Monthly Wrap Up #14

March was a pretty decent month, in comparison to others. We’re still in lockdown here in Scotland, but I started a new job and I’m settling in, which is nice.

It’s also a bonus that it’s so easy to leave everything there and not be worrying about what my next shift will be like- which I realise now is all I did in my old job.

Another highlight of March was that we finally got some answers in the finale of WandaVision, and the first two episodes of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.

I won’t say much about either because I don’t want to spoil them for anyone, but I now have a new love for Wanda and Vision as characters, and I am so happy Bucky and Sam are finally get some screen time and the first episode delivered on that by showing us how they’re faring in the new world after the snap.


March Reads

The Damage Done by James Oswald

The sixth Inspector McLean novel was a little different to its predecessors- because halfway through McLean gets moved over to a new cold case unit.

I really liked where the story was heading when it ended, so I have my fingers crossed Book 7 continues with some of those ideas.

Four stars.

Get A Life Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

This was a recommendation after a readalong I took part in, and for the most part I enjoyed the story.

What kept me from enjoying it completely was all the swearing (which I felt was a bit too frequent, but maybe that’s just me)- though I adored the relationship that developed between Chloe and Red.

Three and a half stars.

Sanctuary by Caryn Lix

Despite this book being way outside my usual reading material, I liked it.

The main character, Kenzie, didn’t have much going for her, so I was indifferent to her for most of the story, but there were plenty of supporting characters to invest in, and I think I might enjoy the rest of the series a little more since there should be less time spent on world-building.

Three stars.

One Of Us Is Next by Karen McManus

I loved One Of Us Is Lying, so I was excited to start the sequel- and it delivered.

While set in Bayview like its predecessor, One Of Us Is Next revolves around a deadly game of Truth or Dare instead of a murder, and at the same time develops further some of the supporting characters from OOUIL.

Getting to know those characters better made this book even more enjoyable for me, and I’d happily read a whole series set in Bayview since there never seems to be a dull moment.

Four stars.

Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid

This was a good book in that it covered a lot of big themes and really got me thinking about them, but what kept from loving it is that I didn’t feel like the main character, Emira, was developed much.

She never seemed to react to much, including during the main event of the story which takes place just a few chapters in, or even at the end when she makes a big decision about her life.

Three and a half stars.

Currently Reading

The Thursday Murder Club (Thursday Murder Club, #1)

Reading Challenges Update

Out Of your comfort zone challenge

Contemporary – Complete

  • Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Sci Fi – Complete

  • Sanctuary by Caryn Lix

Posted in Weekly Wrap Up

Monthly Wrap Up 13

So that’s two months gone of 2021, which feels quite surreal.

I’m still making good progress with my tbr, though, which I’m happy with. The book-buying ban, on the other hand, isn’t going so well, but I’m justifying it because I got an interview and a job offer in the same week- which means from March I’ll have some kind of routine back in my life again, and venturing out of the house.

Somehow I’ve made it through another month without writing a single book review, so I’m going to share my thoughts on my February reads here in my wrap-up.

I’ve also changed the layout of this post so instead of book covers, I’ve just put the title of the books I read and linked them to Goodreads. I don’t know if this layout will stick. We shall see.


February Reads

The Switch by Beth O’Leary

Adorable. Heart-warming.

Five stars.

Slay by Brittney Morris

Thought-provoking. Immersive.

Five stars.

Cream Buns and Crime by Robin Stevens

I didn’t realise this was a collection of short stories until I started reading it, but I liked that we got to see the Junior Pinkertons in action, and some mini cases that were set between the main stories.

Four stars.

Titanic and Other Ships by Commander Lightoller

Fascinating and detailed. Reading about the Commander’s travels and adventures around the world was the perfect escapism right now, and his account of the Titanic’s collision and sinking was so vivid and tragic.

Four stars. (Would have been five but there were a ton of technical terms which meant I had to keep putting the book down to look them up in a dictionary- plus the super outdated language and opinions which is offensive.)

The Holiday by T.M. Logan

Aside from the synopsis being misleading, this was an addictive story. It was easy to get caught up in Kate’s suspicions of her friends and I did not expect it to end the way it did.

Four stars.

The Less Dead by Denise Mina

Made for some grim reading, but it was a good story and had a good resolution.

Four stars.

If I Can’t Have You by Charlotte Levin

Dark. Twisted. Addictive.

I did not want to put this down.

Five stars.

Angels and Demons by Dan Brown

This was a reread for me but I think I enjoyed it a little bit more than I did the first time.

I wouldn’t say it was fast-paced (despite the bulk of the story occurring during the space of a few hours) but it was addictive and shocking, and had several different subplots going on in the background so there was plenty going on.

Four stars.

Instinct by James Patterson and Howard Roughan

I enjoyed the TV series adaptation (which I watched first) and surprisingly found the book to be pretty similiar, with one or two minor changes.

I didn’t like that when Dylan learned something the chapter would end and we didn’t find out what it was until a few chapters later, or that he didn’t do much analysing of the serial killer the NYPD wanted him to help them find, but it was still a good story.

Three and a half stars.

The Rules For Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson

Although this book went in a different direction from what I’d expected, the premise was interesting and the solution at the end was surprising.

Three and a half stars.

Currently Reading

Uncommon Type

Reading Challenges Update

When Are You Reading
  • 2000- Present- Complete

(2020) The Switch

Out Of Your Comfort Zone Challenge

Romance- Complete

  • The Switch

Historical Fiction- Complete

  • Cream Buns and Crime

Posted in WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday #16

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, and to take part, all you need to do is answer three questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

IMG_1384-0

What are you currently reading?

This is another case of ‘Bookstagram made me do it’.

I’ve been seeing so many positive reviews for If I Can’t Have You that when Tandem Collective announced that they were hosting a readalong, I really wanted to take part.

I’m getting Girl On The Train vibes, crossed with You, so I’m really enjoying the story and looking forward to find out what happens with Constance and Samuel.

If I Can’t Have You

What did you recently finish reading?

The Holiday

I binged The Holiday by T.M. Logan over two days, and really liked it. (Although I felt like the synopsis was a teensy bit misleading about the story’s contents.)

Slay

I also read Slay by Brittney Morris, which was so good, and The Less Dead, by Denise Mina, which I didn’t enjoy so much.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I’d just started Angels and Demons when the readalong started so I’ll be returning to Robert Langdon’s first adventure when I’ve finished If I Can’t Have You.

After that, I’ll be moving onto either The Rules For Perfect Murders or The Damage Done, which is the sixth Inspector McLean novel.

Rules for Perfect Murders: The 'fiendishly good' Richard and Judy Book Club pick

Posted in Top 5 Tuesday

Top 5 Tuesday: Top 5 Series I Haven’t Finished

Given how up until last year I actively avoided sequels, I’m really pleased with myself for being able to make this list.


Top 5 Tuesday is hosted by Meeghan Reads.


Inspector McLean series by James Oswald

I read half of this series during Lockdown 1 last year and loved every book, so the remaining five are on my tbr for 2021, which worked out quite nicely since Book 11 is being published this month and now I can complete the series up to date.

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

The Mirror & the Light (Thomas Cromwell, #3)

I loved Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies, so I’m hoping I’ll get round to reading the final book in the trilogy soon.

I know what happened historically with Thomas Cromwell, but I’m really excited to see how Hilary Mantel puts her spin on it.

Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens

I also started reading these during the first lockdown, and have just four more books to go.

Jack Reacher by Lee Child

There’s over 20 books in this series so while it’s unlikely I’ll get anywhere near finishing them all this year, I’m hoping to make a bit more progress with it.

Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

The Desolations of Devil's Acre (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #6)

The sixth and final book in the series is due for release this year, and I’m really looking forward to finding out what happens to the Peculiars and the residents of Devil’s Acre.

Posted in WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday #15

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, and to take part, all you need to do is answer three questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

IMG_1384-0

What are you currently reading?

Slay is described as Black Panther meets Ready player One, which made me want to pick it up immediately.

I haven’t seen a lot of reviews, but those I have read are filled with praise, and I have to say I’m really liking it so far.

Slay

What did you recently finish reading?

I finally finished Volume One of War and Peace, which feels amazing.

I’d planned to start The Less Dead, but I was seeing a lot of Legendborn on my Instagram timeline so I reshuffled my tbr, and read it and The Switch.

Legendborn (Legendborn, #1)

The Switch

What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m planning to choose between Two Can Keep A Secret, and The Less Dead.

The Less Dead

Posted in Weekly Wrap Up

Monthly Wrap Up 12

Considering how quickly January disappeared, my wrap-up is surprisingly busier than I expected it to be.

I’d intended to take this month a little slower to avoid burning out, but I ended up bingeing Die Trying and Legendborn to get them finished in the same month that I started them in, so now I’m just embracing it and reading whenever I have the time.

I’ve made progress with both reading challenges I signed up for (When Are You Reading & Out Of Your Comfort Zone) and I’ve completed 3 categories in all, which I think is a good start.

Another bonus is that I loved all the books I read in January, and now I get to look forward to the sixth Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children novel and the sequel to Legendborn.


January Reads
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
The Windsor Knot
The Conference of the Birds (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #5)
Die Trying (Jack Reacher, #2)
Legendborn (Legendborn, #1)

Currently Reading

I’ve finally finished Volume One of War and Peace, which I’m really pleased about. After I finish The Switch, I’m going to be starting Volume Two.

War and Peace
The Switch

Reading Challenges Update

When Are You Reading
  • 1800-1899 Complete

(1800-1899) The Adventure Of Sherlock Holmes:

  • The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor
  • The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet
  • The Adventure of the Copper Beeches
  • The Boscombe Valley Mystery
  • The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle
  • The Adventure of the Speckled Band
  • The Adventure of the Engineer’s Thumb
  • 1980-1999- Complete

(1998) Die Trying (Jack Reacher 2)

Out Of Your Comfort Zone Challenge

Fantasy- Complete

  • Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children: The Conference Of The Birds

Posted in WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday #14

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, and to take part, all you need to do is answer three questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

IMG_1384-0

What are you currently reading?

I’m this close to finishing Volume One of War and Peace, which is nice since it feels like it’s taken forever.

I also started Die Trying on Monday, the second Jack Reacher book, which will complete another prompt for the When Are You Reading Challenge.

Die Trying (Jack Reacher, #2)

What did you recently finish reading?

It’s taken me a year to get back to the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series, but I’m so glad that I did because I loved The Conference Of The Birds.

The Conference of the Birds (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #5)

What do you think you’ll read next?

My choices are The Switch, Two Can Keep A Secret, or The Less Dead, but this might change.

The Less Dead

Posted in Top 5 Tuesday

Top 5 Tuesday: Top 5 Books I will *definitely* read this year

Top 5 Tuesday is hosted by Meeghan Reads.


Elevator pitch
Elevator Pitch

This was one of the last books I bought in 2020.

I haven’t read anything by Linwood Barclay before, but he’s one of those authors whose name you’re dimly aware of because it crops up all the time, and Elevator Pitch has received a lot of hype.

Haven’t They Grown
Haven't They Grown

Before reading Sophie Hannah’s revival of Hercule Poirot, I wanted to try one of her own novels, and this one stood out to me.

The Mirror and The Light
The Mirror & the Light (Thomas Cromwell, #3)

I’m excited to finally get my hands on the third Thomas Cromwell book.

After some research when reading Wolf Hall, I know how Cromwell met his end, so it will be interesting to see how Mantel puts her spin on that, while bringing her trilogy to a conclusion.

Uncommon Type
Uncommon Type

This was an impulse buy, because I’d been seeing people’s reviews and posts on it everywhere. I have no idea what to expect, but I have high hopes and how can Tom Hanks let us down?

The Sentence Is Death
The Sentence is Death (Hawthorne, #2)

The first I’d read of Anthony Horowitz was his new Sherlock Holmes novel, The House Of Silk, but it was his sequel, Moriarty, which made him one of my all time favourite authors.

The plot twist in that book still amazes me (although I’m sure if you were to read enough Goodreads reviews you’d find someone who said they saw it coming), and I can’t wait to get started on his newest release.

Posted in Bookmail

January Book Mail

With January being halfway gone already, I thought I would do a little update on some book mail I’ve received this month.

Unsurprisingly, I’ve broken my book-buying limit (no more than 3 books a month), with a book haul and a book box, although on the plus side, I’ve made some progress with my two reading challenges and my overall TBR.


BookScape Book Box

I came across BookScape Books on Instagram a couple of months ago, and since I’d never tried a book box before, I decided to give theirs a try.

This particular book box was ideal as there’s no commitment involved and you can pick between a 3 or a 6 book box.

There’s also a choice of genre (crime, thriller, romance, chic lit, historical fiction, or you can pick a surprise and get a selection of blind books), so there’s something for everyone, plus a bonus bar of chocolate, as well.

I picked the surprise 3 book box, so I had no idea what books I was getting until they turned up on my doorstep, and I can honestly say I’m really happy with these picks.

I’ve wanted to read Dumplin and My Year Of Saying No for ages, and while I hadn’t heard of Angel Guard before, it sounds like it will be an interesting read.

Dumplin' (Dumplin', #1)
My Year of Saying No
Angelguard (Chronicles of the Angelguard #1)

January Book Mail
Girl A
Without a Trace
Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #1)

Posted in Top 5 Tuesday

Top 5 Tuesday: Top 5 Anticipated Books of 2021

I took a break from reading at the start of the month so I didn’t burn myself out, so I’m really excited to get back to it and looking forward to all these books.


Top 5 Tuesday is hosted by Meeghan Reads.


The Switch by beth o’leary
The Switch

Eileen is sick of being 79.
Leena’s tired of life in her twenties.
Maybe it’s time they swapped places…

When overachiever Leena Cotton is ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, she escapes to her grandmother Eileen’s house for some overdue rest. Eileen is newly single and about to turn eighty. She’d like a second chance at love, but her tiny Yorkshire village doesn’t offer many eligible gentlemen.

Once Leena learns of Eileen’s romantic predicament, she proposes a solution: a two-month swap. Eileen can live in London and look for love. Meanwhile Leena will look after everything in rural Yorkshire. But with gossiping neighbours and difficult family dynamics to navigate up north, and trendy London flatmates and online dating to contend with in the city, stepping into one another’s shoes proves more difficult than either of them expected.

Leena learns that a long-distance relationship isn’t as romantic as she hoped it would be, and then there is the annoyingly perfect – and distractingly handsome – school teacher, who keeps showing up to outdo her efforts to impress the local villagers. Back in London, Eileen is a huge hit with her new neighbours, but  is her perfect match nearer home than she first thought?


The Devil and The Dark Water by stuart turton
The Devil and the Dark Water

A murder on the high seas. A detective duo. A demon who may or may not exist.

It’s 1634 and Samuel Pipps, the world’s greatest detective, is being transported to Amsterdam to be executed for a crime he may, or may not, have committed. Travelling with him is his loyal bodyguard, Arent Hayes, who is determined to prove his friend innocent.

But no sooner are they out to sea than devilry begins to blight the voyage. A twice-dead leper stalks the decks. Strange symbols appear on the sails. Livestock is slaughtered.

And then three passengers are marked for death, including Samuel.

Could a demon be responsible for their misfortunes?

With Pipps imprisoned, only Arent can solve a mystery that connects every passenger onboard. A mystery that stretches back into their past and now threatens to sink the ship, killing everybody on board.


Halfhead by Stuart Macbride
Halfhead by [Stuart B. MacBride]

Glasgow, not too far in the future.

A new punishment has been devised for the perpetrators of serious crimes. The process is known as halfheading: the offender’s lower jaw is removed & they are lobotomised. They are then put to work as cleaners in municipal areas like hospitals, where they serve as a warning to all that crime doesn’t pay.


What Will Burn by James Oswald
What Will Burn (The Inspector McLean Series) by [James Oswald]

The charred remains of an elderly woman are discovered in a burned-out game-keepers cottage, hidden away in woodland to the west of Edinburgh. Clearly no accidental fire, Detective Inspector Tony McLean suspects that neither is this simply a grim arson attack. There is far more to the victim than her humble surroundings might suggest, and something ritualistic to her horrific murder.

Nor will it be the only case of death by fire that Tony and his team will be faced with. This is only the beginning, and with such evil clouding the air, Tony begins to wonder what else will burn…


Fire Watching by Russ Thomas
Firewatching (Detective Sergeant Adam Tyler #1)

When financier Gerald Cartwright disappeared from his home six years ago, it was assumed he’d gone on the run from his creditors. But then a skeleton is found bricked up in the cellar of Cartwright’s burned-out mansion, and it becomes clear Gerald never left alive.

As the sole representative of South Yorkshire’s Cold Case Review Unit, Detective Sergeant Adam Tyler is not expected to get results, but he knows this is the case that might finally kick start his floundering career. Luckily, he already has a suspect. Unluckily, that suspect is Cartwright’s son, the man Tyler slept with the night before.

Keeping his possible conflict-of-interest under wraps, Tyler digs into the case alongside Amina Rabbani, an ambitious young Muslim constable and a fellow outsider seeking to prove herself on the force. Soon their investigation will come up against close-lipped townsfolk, an elderly woman with dementia who’s receiving mysterious threats referencing a past she can’t remember, and an escalating series of conflagrations set by a troubled soul intent on watching the world burn . . .