Hello everyone, and what a start to March, I am currently all snuggled up on the sofa with a pile of books at my side (as usual) and a mug of coffee to get me through this morning (as usual). I hope March will be kind to us all and that at some point we will know if or when the date to go back to work…. (don’t worry I will still be doing my blog, just it might be a lot less frequently, than it has been. So as we move into a new month, its only appropriate to look back at the old, and as you may have seen by the title of this month’s wrap-up for books I have read (from my TBR, To Be Read, pile I might have to think again about the choices I make lol) due to how long this lockdown has been, and other personal issues that have cropped up there are certain books I either didn’t read or finish. I am sorry about that, and I am sure I will get round to reading them at some point but for now I have to put them aside due to my current mood (also have way too many books crying at me for my time). So for now we or I will focus on the three I finished and love
- A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik
I absolutely fell in love with this book, the plot and the characters just sprung from the page into my head and heart. I loved the idea of a school that you have to pit your wits against and if you don’t look to survive you will be dead. This novel takes no prisoners, and the main characters, El, or as she is not commonly known as Gladdriel (yes I do love the hilarious nod to J RR Tolkien) and Orion, who’s wealth and the people that support him gives him an edge over most of the poorer elements of this deadly school. Anyway what is this delightful book all about I hear you mutter… lets head over to the blurb and find out (I shout lol).
Enter a school of magic unlike any you have ever encountered!!!
There are no teachers, no holidays, friendships are purely strategic, and the odds of survival are never equal. Once you’re inside, there are only two ways out: you graduate, or you die.
El Higgins is uniquely prepared for the school’s many dangers. She may be without allies, but she possess a dark power strong enough to level mountains and wipe out untold millions – never mind easily destroy the countless monsters that prowl the school.
Except, she might accidentally kill all the other students too. So El is trying her hardest not to use it…… that is , unless she has no other choice.
I honestly cannot recommend this wonderful, brilliant and just down right belligerent and dark story about overcoming your fear of who you are (or think you are) and that sometimes friendships don’t always have to have an ulterior motive. This is a dark Hogwarts, one in which its dog eats dog or occasionally monster eats humans. I loved each of the characters the main character El has to deal with and which she soon becomes as close to friends she has ever come to, along with an annoying boy who seems to keep wanting to rescue said character (I mean ugh!! how annoying is that and frustrating…. we all know where this antagonistic and annoyance leads wink). I loved it all and cannot wait to hear more from these characters later on this year!!!! its bloody marvellous.
Ratings: 5 🌟s with a ☕️ and a large 🍰 and a 🍪 or two…maybe three. Honestly you need all the caffeine and sugar you can for this enthralling book.
Little bit about the author:
Naomi Novik is an avid reader of fantasy literature since age 6, she is also a history buff with a particular fascination with the Napoleonic era and a fondness for the work of Patrick O’Brian and Jane Austen. She lives with her husband and daughter in New York City along with many purring computers.
2. Seven Kinds Of People You Find In Bookshops by Shaun Bythell
I have always loved Shaun’s dry, sarcastic and yes grumpiness about people (customers) turning up to his shop in deep dark Scotland, I know that when I am feeling down, miserable and depressed, his books will always lighten me up again and make my ribs ache from laughing out loud. This book is even better as it describes each customer as a strange and unique species that need cataloguing. So what’s this book about, I may have just touched on what it sort of is, but lets head to the blurb to clarify it for you a bit more.
In twenty years behind the till in The Bookshop, Wigtown, Shaun Bythell has met pretty much every kind of customer there is – from the charming, erudite and deep-pocketed to the eccentric, flatulent and possibly larcenous.
In Seven Kinds of People You Find In Bookshops he distils the essence of his experience into a warm, witty and quirky taxonomy of the book-loving public. So, step inside to meet the crafty Antiquarian, the shy and retiring Erotica Browser and gormless yet strangely likeable shop assistant Student Hugo – along with much loved bookseller favourites like the passionate Sci-Fi Fan, the voracious Railway Collecter and the ever-elusive Perfect Customer.
As I have said above I absolutely love this book, its one in which you can dip in and out of and its small enough to take with you anywhere you go, which is always a plus. I love little snippets, comedic the better, books like this one because it gives me so much pleasure to read, I laugh and have a giggle over the types of people that he has encountered whilst he’s had his bookshop running and it makes me yearn to go back and be able to walk into a bookshop and just browse… I miss being able to just walk in pick up a book and look and put it down again without feeling like I have contaminated something for which another person would have liked to read. This book is a warm chuckle infested book, and one in which right now we need something to remind us that there are businesses out there who will need us all to visit and yes to buy from too, and these small independents need all of our help if we are to keep some shops going. I can highly recommend this book to anyone who needs a laugh and a chuckle, this is a lovely warm and friendly hug of a book.
Ratings: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰 with a few 🍪 s too… though you might want to have a bib due to laughing so much you spray everywhere 😉 honestly this book is brilliant.
Little bit about the author:
Shaun Bythell bought The Bookshop in Wigtown on 1st November 2001, and has been running it ever since with an increasing passion for the business, matched only by a sense of despair for its future, and an ill-humour inspired by almost two decades of dealing with confused customers and surly staff. His internationally – bestselling books The Diary of a Bookseller and Confessions of a Bookseller have been translated into over twenty languages, including Russian, Korean and French.
3. The MoonFlower Murders by Anthony Horowitz
So we have come to the final book which I read, loved and finished, I have always loved Horowitz’s writing style especially his two Sherlock Holmes novels which I adored by the way. I also loved Magpie Murders which is the first novel in I guess this duology? (can you get a duology lol) anyway now I will let you feast your eyes on this gorgeous book just look at those beautiful sprayed edges!!! sorry you can’t see inside but its even better. Anyway lets go and check out what this book is all about, on to the blurb!!
Retired publisher Susan Reyland is running a small hotel on a Greek Island with her long-term boyfriend. But life isn’t as idyllic as it should be: exhausted by the responsibility of making everything work on an island where nothing ever does, Susan is beginning to miss her literary life in London – even though her publishing career once entangled her in a lethal literary murder plot.
So when an English couple come to visit with tales of a murder that took place in a hotel the same day their daughter Cecily was married there, Susan can’t help but find herself fascinated. And when they tell her that Cecily has gone missing a few short hours after reading Atticus Pund Takes The Case, a crime novel Susan edited some years previously, Susan knows she must return to London to find out what has happened. the clues to the murder and Cecily’s disappearance must lie within the pages of this novel.
But to save Cecily, Susan must place her own life in mortal danger……….
Honestly I loved this book from beginning to end, and yes its a mahoosive monster of a book. I hd to take my time with this one, not least because it was so brilliantly and cleverly plotted, but because my poor hands would ache after lumping it around wherever I was more comfortable (seriously try reading this tome in bed and you will see why I found it awkward). That is the only real quibble I had with this book, the size and weight, part from that I was hooked, the plot and the book within a book, as well as a mystery within a mystery was just mind benignly brilliant. I honestly cannot recommend this book highly enough, if you like your Agatha Christie style crime, this book is a treasure that you have to read and I would also recommend The Magpie Murders too if you haven’t encountered that book already.
Ratings: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰 and 🍪 s of course 😉
I know you are wondering where did the other five books go, well sometimes you may find yourself not in the mood or that the book you think you will enjoy turns out you are not sure about or even find that you have changed your mind about it. This is all perfectly fine, not all books are going to make you jump to the skies with joy or make you think about yourself and others as well as the planet in a new and thoughtful way. Books are fabulous magic, but they can also be fickle and like us we just have to browse amongst them to come across something we love or tickles our fancy. I found the choices I made with five of them may not have turned out exactly as I planned, but I enjoyed and loved three of them which makes my February stack all worth it. I also am not going to put book reviews on here which dismisses them or say how bad they are thats not my blog and not something that should be shouted about (well thats my opinion anyway) because even if I didn’t enjoy them I know plenty of people have, and that I don’t want to cause hurt or anger because this is only my opinion and also the author has worked jolly hard to get their creation (paper baby, sometimes even digital baby) out into the wide world and well it just feels mean and spiteful to say how rubbish or worthless it is, because they are not that. I may not have go into the book but thats down to me being not involved or missed something, the book is not to blame neither is the author, it just happens that it or they didn’t grab my attention which makes reading all the more fun, because you never know which book might grab your interest next.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this little post of mine and hopefully this new month will bring me many happy readings, look out for my next post on books to read in March, though I think I may have to tell myself not to restrict it to only march or even say I have to read the 8!! (I know *gasp* shock and horror) but seriously this month is going to be particularly busy with loads more blog tours and other reviews to come.
Looking back on a year that has been strange, unsettling and terrifying I have to say thank you for all the people that have and are supporting me through what I have found to be my calling (as it were) without my SquadPod girls and also my friends and family I don’t think I would have been quite as mentally happy as I am now. I have always loved books and enjoying reading them as much as I can, to be able to shout about books and write it up on a blog that people (I hope) are reading fills me with pleasure and just gratitude that you think I am making sense lol. So thank you each and everyone of my followers on here new and old I love you all. So I will leave you now to only say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!