It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

 

The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading meme is hosted at BookDate

I’m also linking to The Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer

And the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz

Life…

Whether you celebrate Easter or not, I hope you are enjoying a relaxed weekend. My family is not religious so for us the holiday is an excuse to eat chocolate for breakfast and spend time with family and friends.

So I’ve been working hard this week to catch up. I was shocked to log in to Netgalley and find I had 37 titles awaiting feedback, I really didn’t think the total would be so high. During the last two weeks, I’ve reduced that to under half, which is why you are seeing multiple posts a day right now, and will for a while.

And of course, since I was logged in already, I couldn’t help browsing and I added a few more titles to my schedule.

On a positive note, I discovered Netgalley has introduced some new badges, so I now have all these pretties to show off.

Unfortunately the tower of unsolicited print ARCs is still, well, towering. And there are still a couple of dozen or so titles in a pile which again, I read during my hiatus, for which I feel I still owe a review.

At the moment the task still feels insurmountable, but I’m going to keep working at it.

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

 

The Sparkle Pages by Meg Bignell

Most Wanted by Lisa Scottoline

The Complete Guide to Contemporary World Fiction by MA Orthofer

Those Other Women by Nicole Moriarty

Devil’s Bargain {Red Letter Days #1} by Rachel Caine

Devil’s Due {Red Letter Days #2} by Rachel Caine

Blood River by Tony Cavanaugh

Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger

 

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New Posts

 

Review: The Sparkle Pages by Meg Bignell ★★★★★

Review: The Year of the Farmer by Rosalie Ham ★★★

Review: Breakdown by Jonathan Kellerman ★★★

Review: Outback Sisters by Rachael Johns ★★★★

Review: Viral by Helen Fitzgerald ★★★

Review: Making it Up As I Go Along by Marian Keyes ★★★

Review: The Complete Guide to Contemporary World Fiction by MA Orthofer ★★★★

Review: Dastardly Deeds by Isla Evans ★★★★

Review: Review: Fall {Archer & Bennett #3} by Candice Fox ★★★★★

Bookshelf Bounty

Review: The Weight of Him by Ethel Rohan ★★★

(a better late than never) Review: The Near Miss by Fran Cusworth ★★

(a better late than never) Review: Smoke and Mirrors {Stephens and Mephisto #2} ★★★1/2

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What I’m Reading This Week

(book covers link to Goodreads)

 

Wilbrook in Western Australia is a sleepy, remote town that sits on the edge of miles and miles of unexplored wilderness. It is home to Police Sergeant Chandler Jenkins, who is proud to run the town’s small police station, a place used to dealing with domestic disputes and noise complaints.

All that changes on a scorching day when an injured man stumbles into Chandler’s station. He’s covered in dried blood. His name is Gabriel. He tells Chandler what he remembers.

He was drugged and driven to a cabin in the mountains and tied up in iron chains. The man who took him was called Heath. Heath told Gabriel he was going to be number 55. His 55th victim.

Heath is a serial killer.

As a manhunt is launched, a man who says he is Heath walks into the same station. He tells Chandler he was taken by a man named Gabriel. Gabriel told Heath he was going to be victim 55.

Gabriel is the serial killer.

Two suspects. Two identical stories. Which one is the truth?

++++++++

You live on a picturesque communal garden square, an oasis in urban London where your children run free, in and out of other people’s houses.

You’ve known your neighbours for years and you trust them. Implicitly.

You think your children are safe.

But are they really?

Midsummer night: a thirteen-year-old girl is found unconscious in a dark corner of the garden square. What really happened to her? And who is responsible?

++++++++

May 1904. Coney Island’s newest amusement park, Dreamland, has just opened. Its many spectacles are expected to attract crowds by the thousands, paying back investors many times over.
Kitty Hayward and her mother arrive by steamer from South Africa. When Kitty’s mother takes ill, the hotel doctor sends Kitty to Manhattan to fetch some special medicine. But when she returns, Kitty’s mother has vanished. The desk clerk tells Kitty she is at the wrong hotel. The doctor says he’s never seen her although, she notices, he is unable to look her in the eye.
Alone in a strange country, Kitty meets the denizens of Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet. A relic of a darker, dirtier era, Magruder’s is home to a forlorn flea circus, a handful of disgruntled Unusuals, and a mad Uzbek scientist. Magruder’s Unusuals take Kitty under their wing and resolve to find out what happened to her mother.
But as a plague spreads, Coney Island is placed under quarantine. The gang at Magruder’s finds that a missing mother is the least of their problems, as the once-glamorous resort town is abandoned to the freaks, anarchists, and madmen.

++++++++

Rowland Sinclair is an artist and a gentleman. In Australia’s 1930s the Sinclair name is respectable and influential, yet Rowland has a talent for scandal.

Even with thousands of unemployed lining the streets, Rowland’s sheltered world is one of exorbitant wealth, culture and impeccable tailoring. He relies on the Sinclair fortune to indulge his artistic passions and friends … a poet, a painter and a brazen sculptress.

Mounting tensions fuelled by the Great Depression take Australia to the brink of revolution.

++++++++

‘The right people turn up in your life at the right time if you let them.’

Sienna Wilson is living her dream in the city – a rewarding obstetrics job in a leading hospital, an apartment with a view, and handsome Sergeant McCabe on call whenever she needs him. The last thing she wants is a posting to investigate a medical mystery in a remote outback town.

But on arrival in Spinifex, Sienna is brought to life in new and exciting ways. In a community riddled with secrets, she meets troubled young barmaid Maddy, and tough publican Alma, both with their secrets to hide.

As they draw strength from each other, new friendships, new loves and new babies are born, proving that when strong women join forces, they can overcome even the greatest odds.

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Thanks for stopping by!

 

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading meme is hosted at BookDate

 

Life…

Do you ever experience weird coincidences with your reading? Sometimes it’s something simple, like the same name used in two different novels, at other times an unexpected esoteric topic crops up in conversation with a friend, or in the news, which is the subject of the next book you pick up. Once, when visiting my mother, she showed me a tea towel she’d bought on a recent trip that listed unusually named towns that I’d never heard of, the next day I started a new book which mentioned two of those towns. In this instance, I unintentionally scheduled two books to read in the past week that both feature a synesthete teenage boy – one is a murder mystery, The Colour of Bee Larkham’s Murder, the other a literary novel, The Book of Dreams, which gave no hint as to a synesthete character. In addition, my daughter casually mentioned that synesthesia was a topic in her biology class this week after I mentioned the coincidence to her. ( ♪♫♪ Insert Twilight Zone theme here ♪♫♪)

By the way, you may find I’m posting more frequently over the next few weeks. In an effort to tidy up things left undone (particularly my netgalley account) during my hiatus I’ve been writing posts for books I read but didn’t review at the time. I’ve also been attempting to update my Goodreads shelves (which are still glitching) and my LibraryThing account (feel free to add me as a friend on one, or both) Thankfully I at least kept my BookCollectorz app up to date during my absence.

Oh and it was my birthday yesterday.

🎂 Happy Birthday to me 🎂

It was a quiet day, I lounged and read. My kids bought me some new slippers for the fast approaching winter weather, and made me a cake 🙂

 

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

After the Party by Cassie Hamer

The Colour of Bee Larkham’s Murder by Sarah J. Harris

Bridge Burning and Other Hobbies by Kitty Flanagan

Fortune’s Son by Jennifer Scoullar

The Weight of Him by Ethel Rohan

 

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New Posts

Review: I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella ★★

Review: The Lost Girls by Jennifer Spence ★★★★1/2

Review: The Book of Dreams by Nina George ★★★

Review: Bridge Burning and Other Hobbies by Kitty Flanagan ★★★

Review: The Colour of Bee Larkham’s Murder by Sarah J. Harris ★★★1/2

Weekend Cooking: Slow Cooker Central 2 by Paulene Christie (and me!)

Review: After the Party by Cassie Hamer ★★★

(a better late than never) Review: Recipes of Love and Murder by Sally Andrew ★★★★1/2

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What I’m Reading This Week

 

‘Is marriage just a series of texts about where the children are and whether we need milk until one of you dies?’

Susannah Parks – wife, mother, cleaner of surfaces and runner of household – is a viola virtuoso. Except she hasn’t picked up a viola for over a decade. She has, however, picked up a lot of Lego, socks, wet towels and other exhibits of mundanity. She has also picked up on the possibility that her husband has lost interest in her. (And frankly, she’s not very interested in Susannah Parks either.) But this year, she has resolved to be very interesting. Also thoughtful, useful, cheerful, relevant, self-sufficient, stylish, alluring and intelligent.

In her highly confidential diary, Susannah documents the search for the elusive spark in her marriage, along with all the high and low notes of life with her four beloved children, with her free-spirited (and world famous) best friend Ria, and with Hugh, the man who fills her heart with burning passion and her washing pile with shirts.

And perhaps amid the chaos she might be brave enough to find the missing pieces of herself.

++++++

Brisbane 1999. It’s hot. Stormy. Dangerous. The waters of the Brisbane River are rising.

The rains won’t stop. People’s nerves are on edge. And then…

A body is found.

And then another.

And another.

A string of seemingly ritualized but gruesome murders. All the victims are men. Affluent. Guys with nice houses, wives and kids at private schools. All have had their throats cut.

Tabloid headlines shout, THE VAMPIRE KILLER STRIKES AGAIN!

Detective Sergeant Lara Ocean knows the look. The ‘my-life-will-never-be-the-same-again look’. She’s seen it too many times on too many faces. Telling a wife her husband won’t be coming home. Ever again. Telling her the brutal way he was murdered. That’s a look you never get used to. Telling a mother you need her daughter to come to the station for questioning. That’s another look she doesn’t want to see again.

And looking into the eyes of a killer, yet doubting you’ve got it right. That’s the worst look of all – the one you see in the mirror. Get it right, you’re a hero and the city is a safer place. Get it wrong and you destroy a life. And a killer remains free. Twenty years down the track, Lara Ocean will know the truth.

++++++

Rivalries and resentments between mums and non-mums spiral wildly out of control in the compelling new book by the bestselling author of The Fifth Letter

Poppy’s world has tipped sideways. The husband who never wanted children has changed his mind. The trusted childhood best friend has betrayed her. And the new friend from work, Annalise, insists she need to let loose.

At least Annalise is on Poppy’s side – she has no interest in having kids either. After they create a private Facebook group dedicated to women like themselves who don’t have or want kids, the memberships soar, and Poppy feels like she’s in control again. Then things take a nasty turn. They have a mole – someone in their group isn’t who she says she is.

But Poppy and Annalise aren’t the only ones who are fed up. Their colleague, Frankie, is tired of being judged at every turn: by colleagues when she leaves early to pick up her kids, by stay-at-home mums when she can’t volunteer at school, and by her own children for missing events. Her frustrations are complicated by a secret she’s keeping, and she doesn’t know how much longer she can pretend everything is fine.

As the online hostility between parents and non-parents spills out into the real world, things begin to slide disastrously, dangerously out of control, exposing carefully concealed secrets and lies that will have a devastating effect on these three women’s lives.

++++++

Christine Nilsson and her husband, Marcus, are desperate for a baby. Unable to conceive, they find themselves facing a difficult choice they had never anticipated. After many appointments with specialists, endless research, and countless conversations, they make the decision to use a donor.

Two months pass and Christine is happily pregnant. but one day, she is shocked to see a young blond man on the TV news being arrested for a series of brutal murders-and the blond man bears an undeniable and uncanny resemblance to her donor.

Delving deeper to uncover the truth, Christine must confront a terrifying reality and face her worst fears. Riveting and fast-paced, with the depth of emotionality that has garnered Lisa Scottoline legions of fans, Most Wanted poses an ethical and moral dilemma: What would you do if the biological father of your unborn child was a killer?

++++++

For more than a decade, the “Complete Review “has been an essential site for readers interested in learning about new books in translation and developments in global literature. Expanding upon the site’s content, this wide-ranging yet user-friendly resource is the perfect guide for English-language readers eager to explore fiction from around the world. Profiling hundreds of titles and authors from 1945 to today, with an emphasis on fiction published in the past two decades, this reference provides a fascinating portal into the styles, trends, and genres of the world’s literatures, from Scandinavian crime thrillers and cutting-edge works in China to Latin American narco-fiction and award-winning French novels.

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Thanks for stopping by!

I’m also linking to The Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer


And the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz