WWW Wednesday: 28/09/2022

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The rules are answer the questions below and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you will read next?

Hello!

My challenge of only reading books that are 300 pages or less in September has nearly come to end and I must admit I have really enjoyed it. It is good to see the TBR pile shrink this month.

What I am Currently Reading

I’m half way through this and really enjoying it so far.

What I have Recently Finished Reading

I love a Maigret book and think this one is my favourite so far.

What I Think I will Read Next

October will be back to normal reading of anything I have on my TBR pile, but I am thinking I will do more reading themes in future months.

Please drop me a comment with your WWW Wednesday and I will head over for a visit.

Happy Reading

Etsy

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

The Winter Ghosts by Kate Mosse (Review)

The Winter Ghosts by Kate Mosse

Blurb

World War I robbed England and France of an entire generation of friends, lovers and futures. In Freddie Watson’s case, the battlefields took his beloved brother and, at times, his peace of mind. 

In the winter of 1928, still seeking some kind of resolution, Freddie is travelling through the beautiful but forbidding French Pyrenees. During a snowstorm, his car spins off the mountain road. Freezing and dazed, he stumbles through the woods, emerging in a tiny village, where he finds an inn to wait out the blizzard. There he meets Fabrissa, a lovely young woman also mourning a lost generation. 

Over the course of one night, Fabrissa and Freddie share their stories. By the time dawn breaks, Freddie will have unearthed a tragic mystery that goes back through the centuries, and discovered his own role in the life of this old remote town.

Review

After reading my first Mosse book a few weeks ago I knew I had to read more of her books. Thankfully, my TBR trolley had a Mosse book sat on it which I am ashamed to say has been sat on there for over a year. I really wish I had started reading Mosse’s books earlier as I could not put this book down. 

Freddie is a lost soul. The death of Freddie’s brother has affected him deeply and instead of getting better his grief has slowly got worse. This has left him wandering around Europe trying to find some way to cope with his loss. This ends up with Freddie losing control of his car whilst in a snowstorm in France and ending up in a tiny village called Nulle which is very strange. 

The village is isolated and the hotel Freddie finds currently has no guests because it is not the season but the landlady airs the room and tries everything she can to make Freddie feel comfortable, including inviting him to a village get together. At this get together Freddie meets the stunning Fabrissa. Fabrissa is another lost soul and she decides to tell her story to Freddie. 

As Freddie and Fabrissa exchange their stories you begin to feel the emotion of both stories but as Fabrissa starts to tell her story you realise that it is a lot darker and that something is not quite right. 

The story is beautifully written and I absolutely loved the descriptions. It is written in first person and Mosse has done a brilliant job of getting the personality and character of Freddie across. This would have been a fantastic read for the spooky season but I am pleased that I read it this month as Autumn arrives as it felt like the perfect book for the season change. I can’t wait to read my next Mosse book and I give this brilliant book 5 out of 5 Dragons.

🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Purchase Links

Book Depository | Bookshop.org | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

Kate Mosse is an international bestselling author with sales of more than five million copies in 42 languages. Her fiction includes the novels Labyrinth (2005), Sepulchre (2007), The Winter Ghosts (2009), and Citadel (2012), as well as an acclaimed collection of short stories, The Mistletoe Bride & Other Haunting Tales (2013). Kate’s new novel, The Taxidermist’s Daughter is out now.

Kate is the Co-Founder and Chair of the Board of the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction (previously the Orange Prize) and in June 2013, was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to literature. She lives in Sussex.

Etsy

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

Goodreads Monday: 26/09/2022

Goodreads Monday is now hosted by Budget Tales Book Club.  All you have to do is show off a book from your TBR that you’re looking forward to reading.

Hello!

Happy Monday!

I hope everyone has had a good start to the week so far. My chosen book this week is one I could swear that I have read but have no evidence that I have read it and as I have always recorded the books I have read, it seems strange that I have missed this one off the list. Hence why it is on my TBR list.

A novel that chronicles the lives of two women who could not be more different: Becky Sharp, an orphan whose only resources are her vast ambitions, her native wit, and her loose morals; and her schoolmate Amelia Sedley, a typically naive Victorian heroine, the pampered daughter of a wealthy family.

Purchase Links

Book Depository | Bookshop.org | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

Please drop me a comment if you have taken part in Goodreads Monday and I will head over for a visit.

Happy Reading

Etsy

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

The Weekly Brief

Hello!

I hope everyone has had a nice weekend. I have sadly not managed much reading this weekend due to work and doing work prep but I have managed some reading in the week so it isn’t all bad.

Posts this Week

Currently Reading

Absolutely love this so far. The short stories are all fascinating so far.

Happy Reading

Etsy

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

A Man’s Head by Georges Simenon (Review)

A Man’s Head by Georges Simenon

Blurb

A new translation of Georges Simenon’s atmospheric novel set in the bustling streets of Paris, book nine in the new Penguin Maigret series. 

Slowly the Czech was becoming animated, but in a muted way, so typical of the man. Maigret now noticed his hands, which were long, surprisingly white and dotted with freckles. They seemed to reach out and take part in the conversation. ‘Let’s be clear that it’s not your professionalism which I question. If you understand nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, it’s because from the very start you’ve been working with facts which had been falsified.’

Maigret sets out to prove the innocence of a man condemned to death for a brutal murder. As his audacious plan to uncover the truth unfolds, he encounters rich American expatriates, some truly dangerous characters and their hidden motives. 

Review

This is definitely my favourite Maigret book so far although I still have a lot to read yet. I really was hooked with this book and could not put it down, I just found the story fascinating. 

The book begins with an unusual scene but we soon realise that this is Maigret trying to prove the innocence of a man because Maigret’s gut is telling him things are not right. As Maigret starts to reinvestigate he comes upon the mysterious Czech. The Czech is a strange character who seems quite contrary. Other people would be mystified by the Czech’s actions and behaviour but Maigret clearly isn’t. 

As the story goes on Maigret starts to work it all out and starts to unweave the web that has been spun around the double murder he is investigating. I really liked the character Janvier who Maigret puts on the job of tailing the Czech. Janvier is young and inexperienced but he is dedicated to the job and lives to prove himself to Maigret. 

I love the character of Maigret he is such a formidable character and very eccentric. His love of warmth is hilarious but yet again I feel sorry for his wife who he never goes home to when he is on a case. The poor woman must have the patience of a saint. 

I really enjoyed this book and could have easily read it in one sitting but sadly work had to come first. I give this book a big 5 out of 5 Dragons. 

🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Purchase Links

Book Depository | Bookshop.org | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

Georges Simenon (1903-1989) was a Belgian writer who published nearly 500 novels and many short stories. Simenon is best known as the creator of the Maigret stories.

Etsy

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

First Lines Friday: 23/09/2022

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone has had a good week so far. I thought it was high time I took part in First Lines Friday again. As usual the answer is below the cat pictures.

I went to the dance with Thomas Toofat. It’s Toogood really, but he is too fat, with frizzy hair and flat feet. We never meant to let him know we call him that, but the week before, at the Turners’ picnic, Sally said without thinking, ‘And this is Thomas Toofat…’ Oh, it was utterly withering.

Get guessing

Midsummer Night in the Workhouse by Diana Athill

“I can remember in detail being hit by my first story one January morning in 1958.” So begins literary legend Diana Athill in the preface to Midsummer Night in the Workhouse, a long-overdue collection of her short fiction, originally published in the 1950s to the 1970s.

In unsentimental though often touching prose, Athill’s young women anticipate, enjoy, or just miss out on brief sexual encounters with men met on trains, at parties — just about anywhere they can. A cheating wife, back with her boring husband, is wracked with agonizing love for the unavailable partner of her brief fling; a writer seeks inspiration at a writers’ retreat whilst avoiding the group seducer’s invitation; a wife’s party flirtations propel her possessive husband into another woman’s bed; two fun-loving women face a sinister sexual assault during a Greek holiday; a teenager experiences enraptured detachment during her first kiss.

Beautifully written, perceptive, touching, and funny, Midsummer Night in the Workhouse is Diana Athill at her best.

Did anybody guess correctly?

Please drop me a comment with your First Line Friday and I will head over for a visit.

Happy Reading

Etsy

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

Lyra’s Pawsome Books #2

Hello!

I have so many new products in the pipeline for my Etsy shop and hopefully I will get those up for sale soon but until then I have released another two products on the shop. The code BOOKDRAGON10 can still be used at checkout for 10% off anything on my Etsy store.

Now one of my favourite things to do on a cold winter evening is curl up with a mug of hot chocolate, some biscuits and a good book. This made me come up with my dream book box. I would personally love to get this book box as a present.

Luxury Hot Chocolate Book Box

The box includes:

A brand new paperback book of a genre of your choice.

A bookmark so you don’t lose your place in your new book when you put your book down for a hot chocolate refill.

Kingsbridge Hot Chocolate Spoon Flavours:

– Marshmallow Milk Hot Chocolate 
– Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate 
– Marshmallow Dark Hot Chocolate 
– Marshmallow White Hot Chocolate
– Marshmallow Caramel Sea Salt Hot Chocolate 

Border Biscuit Flavours:
– Chocolate Cookies
– Viennese Whirls
– Golden Oat Crumbles
– Butterscotch Crunch

Lotus biscuits x2

Book Box with Vegan Treats

Box Includes

– Brand new paperback book (genre of your choice)
– Tea bags
– Coffee bag
– Bookmark
– Nomo vegan chocolate bar
– Candy Kittens Wild Strawberry Vegan Gourmet Sweets
– Vegan Popcorn

All products now have the option to include a free personalised gift message that will be handwritten on a bookish themed postcard.

There are now 5 different book boxes on the Etsy store and one book present so it is slowly building up. The Christmas and Advent themed book boxes will be put up soon.

Happy Reading

WWW Wednesday: 21/09/2022

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The rules are answer the questions below and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you will read next?

Hello!

I hope everyone is having a good week so far. I was back at school today which has meant a very long day but I managed to get some reading done during my lunch break.

What I am Currently Reading

I am half way through this so far and really enjoying it. I do enjoy a Maigret book.

What I have Recently Finished Reading

I started off really enjoying this but towards the end I did find it a bit wearing. The dialect at times could be a difficult and this just made the book feel harder work than it should have done.

What I Think I will Read Next

I’m hoping to read a few more of my short books before the end of September. I must admit setting myself the challenge of only reading books that are 300 pages or less has really made a difference to my TBR pile.

Please drop me a comment with your WWW Wednesday and I will head over for a visit.

Happy Reading

Etsy

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

The Classics Club: Spin #31 – Results

Hello!

The results are in and the number was 2. This means my next read off my Classics Club challenge will be The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy.

In this classically simple tale of the disastrous impact of outside life on a secluded community in Dorset, now in a new edition, Hardy narrates the rivalry for the hand of Grace Melbury between a simple and loyal woodlander and an exotic and sophisticated outsider. Betrayal, adultery, disillusion, and moral compromise are all worked out in a setting evoked as both beautiful and treacherous. The Woodlanders, with its thematic portrayal of the role of social class, gender, and evolutionary survival, as well as its insights into the capacities and limitations of language, exhibits Hardy’s acute awareness of his era’s most troubling dilemmas.

Purchase Links

Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

Hopefully, I will be able to finish and review The Woodlanders before the deadline of 30th October.

Please drop me a comment if you are doing the Classics Club challenge or if you have taken part in the Spin Challenge.

Happy Reading

Etsy

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

Goodreads Monday: 19/09/2022

Goodreads Monday is now hosted by Budget Tales Book Club.  All you have to do is show off a book from your TBR that you’re looking forward to reading.

Hello!

I hope everyone has had a good start to the week so far. I have gone for another book off my Classics Club list because they are all on my vast Goodreads TBR.

Alongside Edgar Allan Poe in America, Britain’s Wilkie Collins stands as the inventor of the modern detective story. The Moonstone introduces all the ingredients: a homey, English country setting, and a colorfully exotic background in colonial India; the theft of a fabulous diamond from the lovely heroine; a bloody murder and a tragic suicide; a poor hero in love with the heroine but suspected of the crime, who can’t remember anything about the night the jewel was stolen; assorted friends, relatives, servants, a lawyer, a doctor, a sea captain—suspects, all; and, most essentially, a bumbling local policeman and a brilliant if eccentric London detective. Adding spice to the recipe are unexpected twists, a bit of dark satire, a dash of social comment, and an unusual but effective narrative structure—eleven different voices relate parts of the tale, each revealing as much about himself (and, in one case, herself) as about the mystery of the missing Moonstone.

Filled with suspense, action, and romance, The Moonstone is as riveting and intoxicating today as it was when it first appeared more than a century ago.

I read The New Magdalen by Wilkie Collins recently and I could not put it down, so I am quite excited to read this soon, as I just love Wilkie Collins.

Have you got a favourite Wilkie Collins book?

Please drop me a comment if you have taken part in Goodreads Monday and I will head over for a visit.

Happy Reading

Etsy

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you