Waiting on Wednesday


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Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

I’ve chosen a book I recently discovered on Twitter, Caroline by Sarah Miller. It’s a fictionalised version of the Little House books as seen through ‘Ma’s’ eyes due to be published in September.

From Goodreads

34200946“In this novel authorized by the Little House estate, Sarah Miller vividly recreates the beauty, hardship, and joys of the frontier in a dazzling work of historical fiction, a captivating story that illuminates one courageous, resilient, and loving pioneer woman as never before—Caroline Ingalls, “Ma” in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s beloved Little House books.

In the frigid days of February, 1870, Caroline Ingalls and her family leave the familiar comforts of the Big Woods of Wisconsin and the warm bosom of her family, for a new life in Kansas Indian Territory. Packing what they can carry in their wagon, Caroline, her husband Charles, and their little girls, Mary and Laura, head west to settle in a beautiful, unpredictable land full of promise and peril.

The pioneer life is a hard one, especially for a pregnant woman with no friends or kin to turn to for comfort or help. The burden of work must be shouldered alone, sickness tended without the aid of doctors, and babies birthed without the accustomed hands of mothers or sisters. But Caroline’s new world is also full of tender joys. In adapting to this strange new place and transforming a rough log house built by Charles’ hands into a home, Caroline must draw on untapped wells of strength she does not know she possesses.

For more than eighty years, generations of readers have been enchanted by the adventures of the American frontier’s most famous child, Laura Ingalls Wilder, in the Little House books. Now, that familiar story is retold in this captivating tale of family, fidelity, hardship, love, and survival that vividly re-imagines our past.”


What do you think of my choice?

Which books are you waiting for?



What Makes Me Happy – Book Tag



WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY TAGThanks so much to the lovely Zuky@BookBum for tagging me in The Happiness Tag! It’s so easy to focus on the negative, sometimes you forget to focus on what makes you happy!

This post has no rules (no rules make me happy!), it’s just a fun post to show off all your happy things in life.

List 5 things that make you happy



My husband and son make me happy and I love spending time with them.

Bavaria Summer 2016 1561



My friends make me happy especially we meet up for a cuppa, cake and a good old chin wag




Who doesn’t love sunshine especially after grey dismal days?

sunny heart


I could drink tea for Britain and need at least two mugs before I feel human in the mornings.



Last but by no means least books, books make me very happy 🙂



List 5 songs that make you happy


Anything from The Blues Brothers


It’s Not Unusual by Tom Jones


Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen

Love Shack by The B52s

Blame It On the Boogie by The Jacksons


Thanks for tagging me Zuky hope you enjoyed the videos 🙂

I tag Inge@TheBelgianReviewer / Yvo@itsallaboutbooks / Dee@NovelDeelights / Jo@mychestnutreadingtree / Drew@TheTatooedBookGeek 


Down the TBR Hole Part 4




From an idea by  Lia @ Lost in a Story and as my tbr over on Goodreads is now toppling over and is definitely in need of some serious de-cluttering!

Anyway, it works like this:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

The Books


The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri

6656The Divine Comedy, translated by Allen Mandelbaum, begins in a shadowed forest on Good Friday in the year 1300. It proceeds on a journey that, in its intense recreation of the depths and the heights of human experience, has become the key with which Western civilization has sought to unlock the mystery of its own identity.
Mandelbaum’s astonishingly Dantean translation, which captures so much of the life of the original, renders whole for us the masterpiece of that genius whom our greatest poets have recognized as a central model for all poets.

This Everyman’s edition–containing in one volume all three cantos, Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso–includes an introduction by Nobel Prize—winning poet Eugenio Montale, a chronology, notes, and a bibliography. Also included are forty-two drawings selected from Botticelli’s marvellous late-fifteenth-century series of illustrations

I think I added this to my tbr when I was going through a phase of reading books set in Italy and there was some mention of this book. It’s been on this Goodreads shelf for 6 years so I can’t imagine I’m ever going to pick it up.

Verdict: Remove


Precious Time by Erica James

1074633In order to spend more time with her four-year-old son Ned, Clara Costello trades in her secure, well-paid job and sports car for a camper van called Winnie, and the three of them set off on a mystery tour of England. Of course, her friends and family think she’s gone mad. But when they arrive in Deaconsbridge, a small market town on the edge of the Peak District, Clara and Ned become drawn into the lives of the locals. Two in particular seem destined to get under Clara’s skin—Gabriel Liberty, a cranky widower who terrifies his family, and Archie Merryman, a local dealer in second-hand furniture, who possesses a heart of gold. Then Clara finds herself having to confront a problem much closer to home, and one she had hoped she would never have to face.

I still like the look of this one, plus it has good reviews on Goodreads.

Verdict: Keep


Dying to Tell by Robert Goddard

633073It is autumn in the Somerset town of Glastonbury. Lance Bradley is idling away his life there as usual when he receives a call for help from the eccentric sister of his old friend Rupert Alder. Inexplicably, Rupe has stopped sending the money that his dysfunctional siblings depend on. Reluctantly, Lance goes to London to learn what he can, only to find that his friend has vanished. His employers, a shipping company, believe he is guilty of a major fraud. A Japanese businessman called Hashimoto claims he has stolen a document of life and death importance. And a private detective who has been trying to trace on Rupert’s behalf an American called Townley has been warned off by unnamed but immensely powerful interests. Townley, it seems, was involved in a mysterious death at Wilderness Farm, near Glastonbury, back in 1963, that year of so many shattering events which just happens also to be the year of Lance’s birth.

No sooner has Lance decided that whatever Rupert was up to is too risky
for him to get involved in than he finds that he already is involved, and the only way out is to get in deeper still. Where is Rupert? What is the document he has stolen? Who is Townley? And what happened in the summer of 1963 that holds the key to a secret more devastating than Lance Bradley could ever have imagined?

Dying to Tell is a classic Robert Goddard mystery, intricate, compelling, and this time with a dénouement that is, quite literally, sensational.

Ha! I thought I’d removed all the books by this author! Still not interested in trying anymore at the moment.

Verdict: Remove


I Am David by Anne Holm

11125324David’s entire twelve-year life has been spent in a grisly prison camp in Eastern Europe. He knows nothing of the outside world. But when he is given the chance to escape, he seizes it. With his vengeful enemies hot on his heels, David struggles to cope in this strange new world, where his only resources are a compass, a few crusts of bread, his two aching feet, and some vague advice to seek refuge in Denmark. Is that enough to survive?
David’s extraordinary odyssey is dramatically chronicled in Anne Holm’s classic about the meaning of freedom and the power of hope.

I definitely want to read this even though I think I may have read it a long time ago.  Verdict: Keep

Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain


Much of what we know and feel about the First World War we owe to Vera Brittain’s elegiac yet unsparing book, which set a standard for memoirists from Martha Gellhorn to Lillian Hellman. Abandoning her studies at Oxford in 1915 to enlist as a nurse in the armed services, Brittain served in London, in Malta, and on the Western Front. By war’s end she had lost virtually everyone she loved. Testament of Youth is both a record of what she lived through and an elegy for a vanished generation. Hailed by the Times Literary Supplement as a book that helped “both form and define the mood of its time,” it speaks to any generation that has been irrevocably changed by war.

I still want to read this and have a physical copy, but I wonder if I might enjoy this more on audio? Verdict:  Keep


The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

128630A dazzling novel in the most untraditional fashion, this is the remarkable story of Henry DeTamble, a dashing, adventuresome librarian who travels involuntarily through time, and Clare Abshire, an artist whose life takes a natural sequential course. Henry and Clare’s passionate love affair endures across a sea of time and captures the two lovers in an impossibly romantic trap, and it is Audrey Niffenegger’s cinematic storytelling that makes the novel’s unconventional chronology so vibrantly triumphant.

An enchanting debut and a spellbinding tale of fate and belief in the bonds of love, The Time Traveler’s Wife is destined to captivate readers for years to come.

I’m not sure if I’m bothered about reading this even though I have a physical copy of on the shelf.

Verdict:  Remove


The Alchemist’s Daughter by Katherine McMahon

774601Dark secrets haunt the manor house at Selden in Buckinghamshire, where Emilie Selden, motherless, fiercely intelligent and beautiful, has been raised in near isolation by her father. John Selden, student of Isaac Newton, is conducting a secret experiment. He aims to turn Emilie into a brilliant natural philosopher and alchemist and fills her with knowledge while recording every step she takes. In the spring of 1725, when Emilie is eighteen, father and daughter begin their most daring adventure – an attempt to breathe life into dead matter. But they are interrupted by the arrival of two strangers. During the course of a sultry August, Emilie is caught up in the passion of first love and, listening for the first time to her heart rather than her head, she makes her choice with consequences that are far-reaching and tumultuous.

This is so intriguing that I definitely want to read it.

Verdict:  Keep


The Madonna of the Almonds by Fiorato Marina



Bernardino Luini, favourite apprentice of Leonardo da Vinci, is commissioned to paint a religious fresco in the hills of Lombardy. His eye is caught by the beautiful Simonetta di Saronno, a young noblewoman who has lost her husband to battle. This title tells a story of love and art set against the backdrop of the Italian Wars.

A lovely cover and an interesting premise but not interesting enough to keep on my shelves.

Verdict: Remove


2834577In this captivating debut, Christi Phillips blends fact and fiction, suspense and sensuality into a vibrant, richly imagined novel in which a modern historian uncovers a courtesan’s secret role in a shocking conspiracy of seventeenth-century Venice.

Claire Donovan always dreamed of visiting Venice, though not as a chaperone for a surly teenager. But she can’t pass up this chance to complete her Ph.D. thesis on Alessandra Rossetti, a mysterious courtesan who wrote a secret letter to the Venetian Council warning of a Spanish plot to overthrow the Venetian Republic in 1618. Claire views Alessandra as a heroine and harbours a secret hope that her findings will elevate Alessandra to a more prominent place in history. But an arrogant Cambridge professor is set to present a paper at a prestigious Venetian university denouncing Alessandra as a co-conspirator — a move that could destroy Claire’s paper and career.

As Claire races to locate the documents that will reveal the courtesan’s true motives, Alessandra’s story comes to life with all the sensuality, political treachery, and violence of seventeenth-century Venice. Claire also falls under the city’s spell. She is courted by a handsome Italian, matches wits with her academic adversary, bonds with her troubled young charge, and, amid the boundless beauty of Venice, recaptures the joy of living every moment….

The reviews for this are very mixed and have put me off giving it a try.

Verdict: Remove


The Shop on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber

16116269Best-selling romance author and ardent knitter Debbie Macomber combines both her skills in this novel about a newly opened Seattle yarn shop and the knitting class that brings four women together to make baby blankets. The owner of the shop and her three students produce more than blankets, knitting together bonds of solidarity, friendship, love, hope, and renewal. The book even includes the pattern for the blanket, which was created by premier knitting designer Ann Norling.

When Lydia Hoffman, a cancer survivor and owner of A Good Yarn, starts a knitting class for her patrons, she forms a special friendship and bond with three extraordinary women–Jacqueline, Carol, and Alix–and together they share laughter, heartbreak, and dreams.

I loved the Friday Night Knitting Club and this sounds similar so I’m going to try it. Verdict:  Keep


Books Removed 5 TBR total 967

I haven’t done a post like this for over a month and I’ve still been adding books! I’ll have to do more de-cluttering this week, so watch this space!

Mini Review Monday



I realise that I’ve read quite a few books from my tbr and the 20 Books of Summer challenge but haven’t reviewed them. So here’s goes:


The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

This is the first book I’ve read from my 20 Books of Summer list.


Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed.

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl’s struggle for justice.

Wow this is an amazing book that I devoured over a weekend, as I just couldn’t stop reading it. It certainly had more depth than I was expecting from a YA title, but that’s a good thing. I loved Starr and her family and really felt like I’d spent my weekend with them.  I thoroughly recommend this if you want to read a gripping relevant contemporary novel this year.


Nutshell by Ian McEwan

This is the second book I’ve read from my 20 Books of Summer list.

29752912Trudy has betrayed her husband, John. She’s still in the marital home – a dilapidated, priceless London townhouse – but not with John. Instead, she’s with his brother, the profoundly banal Claude, and the two of them have a plan. But there is a witness to their plot: the inquisitive, nine-month-old resident of Trudy’s womb.

Told from a perspective unlike any other, Nutshell is a classic tale of murder and deceit from one of the world’s master storytellers.

This was such a clever story told from a very unusual perspective, and brilliantly done. This is one of my favourite reads this year. I’m so glad a friend gave it to me as I wouldn’t have chosen it to read. Another book to recommend if you enjoy quirky page turners that will stay with you for some time.


A Dangerous Place & Journey to Munich by Jacqueline Winspear

I enjoyed both these audiobooks from the Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear. I haven’t listened to any for a while but it didn’t matter as I slipped back into the series quite easily with the help of Julie Teal’s wonderful narration. A Dangerous Place takes place in 1937 in Gibraltar, with the Spanish Civil War taking place across the water. I learned a lot about the conflict, particularly about all the other countries involved in it.

Journey to Munich was very tense, as I knew the plot wouldn’t run smoothly with Maisie heading to Munich just before the start of WW2. I wasn’t prepared for the twists and turns though which made it even more enjoyable.

If you enjoy audiobooks and cosy mysteries I thoroughly recommend both of these. I would add that it’s probably best if you start at the beginning of the series so you can meet Maisie at the start of her journey.


The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett


When the Queen in pursuit of her wandering corgis stumbles upon a mobile library  she feels duty bound to borrow a book. Aided by Norman, a young man from the palace kitchen who frequents the library, Bennett describes the Queen’s transformation as she discovers the liberating pleasures of the written word.

Well what a delightful find this was! I think I discovered this whilst updating my Goodreads status and then found it was available in the library. I’m so glad it popped up as it’s become another favourite read this year. Alan Bennett obviously knows about being a reading addict as there are some wonderful descriptions in here that made me nod in agreement and laugh out loud on numerous. I really do need to get my own copy to read over and over again.


The Gingerbread House by Kate Beaufoy

34444182Away from the city, with no distractions, the Gingerbread House seems like the perfect place to start work on a novel. That’s what former advertising copywriter Tess thinks when she goes there to live with Eleanor, her aged mother-in-law. But Eleanor is suffering from dementia, and caring for her proves tougher than Tess could ever have imagined: feeling increasingly isolated, her only comfort is wine o’clock and weekend visits from her husband. Meanwhile her teenage daughter Katia is helpless to intercede; in the end she can only watch as things fall apart and a tragedy even closer to home surfaces.

The Gingerbread House is a deeply moving novel: a compassionate and occasionally wickedly funny tale of a family’s agonising struggle with dementia.

I’d had this book out from the library for months but because of the subject matter I kept putting off picking it up. I was expecting a very depressing read with lots of tears, shouting and domestic violence.  What I wasn’t prepared for was a story that made me laugh out loud and didn’t depress me at all. I’m so pleased I read it and didn’t send it back without opening it. Yet another book I can recommend.


Strawberries at Wimbledon by Nikki Moore

24970458The fifth short story in the fun & flirty #LoveLondon series from exciting new chick lit author Nikki Moore!

The one that got away?
Sipping Pimms and eating fresh strawberries at Wimbledon are the perfect start to the British summer for Rayne. Immersed in her career as a journalist in the City, she’s been too busy and distracted to give men – or other outside interests – much of a chance lately. That’s something her friend Lily thinks she should correct, coming up with the perfect ‘sex with an ex’ solution – much to the amusement of the crowd on Centre Court!
When Rayne runs into old flame Adam, former good guy who is now all grown up with a hint of bad boy about him, it’s a tempting thought. But is that such a good idea, when she knows that four years ago, she broke his heart?
First love – can you ever go back?

This is such a fun feel good short story that I found free on Kindle through Twitter. (In fact it’s still free today if you want to grab it.) I enjoyed the ‘will they won’t they’ scenario and the Wimbledon setting. A perfect summer read 🙂





Bookstagram Sunday


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Bookstagram Sunday

I’ve just discovered a new meme Bookstagram Sunday hosted by Yvo @It’s All About Books.

Here are some of my favourite posts from the last few weeks.




I always make sure I’ve got a book with me when I meet a friend for coffee or lunch. It’s not only because I might be there a bit before them so perfect to reading whilst I’m waiting, but also because I might be able to get a sneaky Instagram photo in 😉





Stacking The Shelves



Stacking The Shelves is hosted at Tynga’s Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

This week has been a good week for acquiring books in all formats and places.


I received these two books in the post from Readers First and Choc Lit


I saw this freebie on Twitter, a real feel good summery short story


Finally I returned some library books and of course came back home with more lol


What about you, did you add many books to your shelves this week?







Goodreads Challenge Update


I set my Goodreads Challenge to 52 this year but a few months in my husband suggested I change it to 80 as I was constantly ahead. I’ve read 44 books so far, including some short stories and audiobooks. I’m pleased with my progress and hope I can keep this up or dare I say it maybe speed up a bit. Here are my reads in so far with the newest at the top:



My star ratings so far are as follows:

5 stars = 11 books

4 stars = 19 books

3 stars = 12 books

2 stars = 2 books

1 star = 0 books


What about you, have you set a Goodreads challenge?

First Line Friday


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“Oh my darling Clarrie, whatever’s the matter?”

Wigmore Stratfield-Whyte stood in the doorway to the nursery, cursing himself to hell for the inept question that just left his lips. Of course he knew what the matter was with his dearest, darling wife. six months, and it was always the same, day in, day out. she had tried to hide it, God bless her, but he knew.

My choice for this week is from Nobody’s Child by Tania Crosse.

This is Kindle freebie another blogger highlighted recently that I thought was too good to pass up.

34874312The boom years immediately after the Great War bring nothing but happiness for wealthy industrialist Wigmore Stratfield-Whyte and his wife Clarissa – until tragedy robs them of their greatest treasure.

Many years later, an horrific fatal accident brings young Meg Chandler, a spirited farmer’s daughter, into their lives. Meg wants nothing to do with them, but Clarissa is drawn irresistibly towards the bereaved girl and will move heaven and earth to help her. Will Meg allow Clarissa into her own shattered life, and can the two share a future happiness together? And will Meg’s new acquaintances bring her the contentment she craves – or seek to destroy her?

Set in the Kent countryside in the years leading up to the Second World War, this compelling saga tingles with drama, tension and an overwhelming sense of love.


What about you, would this first line draw you in?




THROWBACK THURSDAY – SilverFin by Charlie Higson


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Throwback Thursday meme is hosted by Renee@It’s Book Talk and is a way to share some of your old favourites as well as sharing books that you want to read that were published over a year ago. You know, the ones waiting patiently on your TBR list while you continue to pile more titles on top of them 🙂 These older books are usually much easier than new releases to get a hold of at libraries and elsewhere. If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. If you’d just link back to her @ It’s Book Talk she’d so appreciate it.

My choice this week is: SilverFin by Charlie Higson the first book in the Young Bond series.

From Goodreads:


Paperback, 372 pages
Published March 3rd 2005 by Puffin Books



Before the name became a legend. Before the boy became the man. Meet Bond. James Bond.

There’s something in the water at Loch Silverfin. Something deadly. Something that must be kept secret…

It’s James Bond’s first day at Eton, and already he’s met his first enemy. This is the start of an adventure that will take him from the school playing fields to the remote shores of Loch Silverfin and a terrifying discovery that threatens to unleash a new breed of warfare.

This is a great book to start of a fun series that I had the pleasure of discovering whilst on holiday in Brittany a few years ago. Charlie Higson does a wonderful job revealing Bond as a teenager before he became the  chauvinist we know so well from the original Ian Fleming books.

Waiting on Wednesday


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Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine  that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

I’ve chosen Gathering The Threads by Cindy Woodsmall the third and final book in the Amish of Summer Grove trilogy. I loved the second book Fraying at the Edge which I listened to on audio and can’t wait for this final instalment.

33127703After three months of draus in da Welt, Ariana has returned to Summer Grove, the Old Order Amish community where she was raised for twenty years, and life with her Brenneman family. Skylar Nash, the Englisch-raised young woman is working in Ariana s cafe while getting to know her birth family and their Plain way of life. Skylar’s time in Summer Grove has changed her outlook, just as Ariana has grown to see her personal faith in God in a different light than the manner she was taught while growing up. Both women will have to make decisions about their paths and Ariana must decide what role her childhood friend, ex-Amish Quill Schlabach, will play in her life.



Expected publication August 2017


Have you read any books in this series?

Which books are you waiting for?