Acquired Books of May 2021

Hello my fellow Book Dragons!

I have decided at the end of each month I am going to put all the books I have acquired during that month into one post. This way it might help me to not buy the same books again, which I have been known to do. People who know me might try and use these posts to prove a point they have been trying to make for some years, in response I fiercely deny having a book buying problem!

So here are all the wonderful books I have acquired in May.

A seriously entertaining collection of feel good stories guaranteed to put the smile back on your face written especially by ten bestselling novelists:

Jenny Éclair

Mark Watson

Veronica Henry

Eva Verde

Richard Madeley

Katie Fforde

Dorothy Koomson

Vaseem Khan

Helen Lederer

Rachel Hore

From a hilarious race against time to a moment of unexpected eavesdropping, from righting wrongs in rural India to finding joy in unlikely places, these stories are all rich in wit and humour, guaranteed to lift your spirits and warm your heart.

Stories to Make you Smile is a co-commission between The Reading Agency and Specsavers as part of World Book Night 2021.

Review

Two husbands dead; a life marred by sadness. And now Katharine is in love for the first time in her life.

The eye of an ageing and dangerous king falls upon her. She cannot refuse him. She must stifle her feelings and never betray that she wanted another.

And now she is the sixth wife. Her queenship is a holy mission yet, fearfully, she dreams of the tragic parade of women who went before her. She cherishes the secret beliefs that could send her to the fire. And still the King loves and trusts her. 

Now her enemies are closing in. She must fight for her very life.

KATHARINE PARR – the last of Henry’s queens. 

Alison Weir recounts the extraordinary story of a woman forced into a perilous situation and rising heroically to the challenge. Katharine is a delightful woman, a warm and kindly heroine – and yet she will be betrayed by those she loves and trusts most. 

Too late, the truth will dawn on her. 

Review

SAVE THE WORLD OR END IT…

A strange darkness is growing in the Ward. Even Corayne an-Amarat can feel it, tucked away in her small town at the edge of the sea.

Fate knocks on her door, in the form of a mythical immortal and a lethal assassin, who tell Corayne that she is the last of an ancient lineage – with the power to save the world from destruction.

Because a man who would burn kingdoms to the ground is raising an army unlike any seen before, bent on uprooting the foundations of the world. With poison in his heart and a stolen sword in his hand, he’ll break the realm itself to claim it. And only Corayne can stop him.

Alongside an unlikely group of reluctant allies, Corayne finds herself on a desperate journey to complete an impossible task, with untold magic singing in her blood and the fate of the world on her shoulders.

A lone astronaut.

An impossible mission.

An ally he never imagined.

Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission – and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish.

Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.

All he knows is that he’s been asleep for a very, very long time. And he’s just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company.

His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, Ryland realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Hurtling through space on this tiny ship, it’s up to him to puzzle out an impossible scientific mystery-and conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.

And with the clock ticking down and the nearest human being light-years away, he’s got to do it all alone.

Or does he?

An irresistible interstellar adventure as only Andy Weir could imagine it, Project Hail Mary is a tale of discovery, speculation, and survival to rival The Martian — while taking us to places it never dreamed of going.

Autumn, 1541: King Henry VIII has set out on a spectacular Progress to the North to attend an extravagant submission of his rebellious subjects in York.

Already in the city are lawyer Matthew Shardlake and his assistant Jack Barak. As well as assisting with legal work processing petitions to the King, Shardlake has reluctantly undertaken a special mission for the Archbishop Cranmer – to ensure the welfare of an important but dangerous conspirator being returned to London for interrogation.

But the murder of a local glazier involves Shardlake in deeper mysteries, connected not only to the prisoner in York Castle but to the royal family itself. And when Shardlake and Barak stumble upon a cache of secret papers which could threaten the Tudor throne, a chain of events unfolds that will lead to Shardlake facing the most terrifying fate of the age . . .

In Simenon’s iconic first novel featuring Inspector Maigret, the laconic detective is taken from grimy bars to luxury hotels as he traces a fraudster’s true identity

Inspector Jules Maigret, a taciturn detective and commissaire of the Paris Brigade Criminelle, receives notice from Interpol that a notorious conman known only as Peitr the Latvian is en route to France. Armed with a broad description and a scant few clues, Maigret plans to intercept him at the train station outside Paris. But when he arrives, he finds that there are several suspects?some living, and some dead?who meet the description uncannily well.

Who is Pietr the Latvian, truly? A vagrant, a seaman, a businessman, a corpse? Russian, Norwegian, American or Latvian?  In Pietr the Latvian, the iconic first novel of Simenon’s classic series that made Inspector Maigret a legendary figure in the annals of detective fiction, Maigret must use his every instinct to unravel the mystery and track down the truth.

Review

The circumstances of Monsieur Gallet’s death all ring false: the name the deceased was travelling under and his presumed profession, and more worryingly, his family’s grief. Their haughtiness seems to hide ambiguous feelings about the hapless man. In this haunting story, Maigret discovers the appalling truth and the real crime hidden behind the surface of lies.

Inspector Maigret finds himself tangled up in a dreadful death, in Georges Simenon’s haunting tale about the lengths to which people will go to escape from guilt

While in Brussels on police business, Inspector Jules Maigret witnesses a strange act: a scruffy-looking man counts out a large amount of currency and mails it to a Paris address. His instincts tell him there is more to this moment than meets the eye, and following an impulse, Maigret boards the man’s train, following him to Germany via Amsterdam. But in the course of his investigation, something goes horribly awry, and the man ends up dead.

Maigret is devastated by the inadvertent role he played, but his own remorse is overshadowed by the discovery of the sordid events that drove the desperate man to the edge. In The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien, Georges Simenon examines the terrible weight guilt can place on a man’s conscience and the tragedies that can result when that weight gets to be too heavy to bear.

Addie and her sister are about to embark on an epic road trip to a friend’s wedding in rural Scotland. The playlist is all planned and the snacks are packed.

But, not long after setting off, a car slams into the back of theirs. The driver is none other than Addie’s ex, Dylan, who she’s avoided since their traumatic break-up two years earlier.

Dylan and his best mate are heading to the wedding too, and they’ve totalled their car, so Addie has no choice but to offer them a ride. The car is soon jam-packed full of luggage and secrets, and with four-hundred miles ahead of them, Dylan and Addie can’t avoid confronting the very messy history of their relationship…

Will they make it to the wedding on time? And, more importantly, is this really the end of the road for Addie and Dylan?

Troy has fallen. The Greeks have won their bitter war. They can return home as victors, loaded with their spoils: their stolen gold, stolen weapons, stolen women. All they need is a good wind to lift their sails.

But the wind does not come. The gods have been offended – the body of Trojan king Priam lies desecrated, unburied – and so the victors remain in limbo, camped in the shadow of the city they destroyed, pacing at the edge of an unobliging sea. And, in these empty, restless days, the hierarchies that held them together begin to fray, old feuds resurface and new suspicions fester.

Amidst her squabbling captors, Briseis — now married to Alcimus, but carrying the child of the late Achilles — must forge alliances where she can: with young, dangerously naive Amina, with defiant, aged Hecuba, and with wild-eyed Cassandra, the unheeded seer. And so begins the path to a kind of revenge. Briseis has survived the Trojan War, but peacetime may turn out to be even more dangerous…

Review

As Princesses of Crete and daughters of the fearsome King Minos, Ariadne and her sister Phaedra grow up hearing the hoofbeats and bellows of the Minotaur echo from the Labyrinth beneath the palace. The Minotaur – Minos’s greatest shame and Ariadne’s brother – demands blood every year. 

When Theseus, Prince of Athens, arrives in Crete as a sacrifice to the beast, Ariadne falls in love with him. But helping Theseus kill the monster means betraying her family and country, and Ariadne knows only too well that in a world ruled by mercurial gods – drawing their attention can cost you everything. 

In a world where women are nothing more than the pawns of powerful men, will Ariadne’s decision to betray Crete for Theseus ensure her happy ending? Or will she find herself sacrificed for her lover’s ambition?

Review

A delightful journey through the glamorous story of the English country house party by the bestselling historian.

Croquet. Parlour games. Cocktails. Welcome to a glorious journey through the golden age of the country house party and you are invited.Our host, celebrated historian Adrian Tinniswood, traces the evolution of this quintessentially British pastime from debauched royal tours to the flamboyant excess of the “Bright Young Things”. With cameos by the Jazz Age industrialist, the bibulous earl and the off-duty politician ? whether in moated manor houses or ornate Palladian villas ? Tinniswood gives a vivid insight into weekending etiquette and reveals the hidden lives of celebrity guests, from Nancy Astor to Winston Churchill, in all their drinking, feasting, gambling and fornicating. The result is a deliciously entertaining, star-studded, yet surprisingly moving portrait of a time when social conventions were being radically overhauled through the escapism of a generation haunted by war ? and a uniquely fast-living period of English history.

An abandoned woman…

1951. Esther Durrant, a young mother, is committed to an asylum by her husband. Run by a pioneering psychiatrist, the hospital is at first Esther’s prison – but can captivity lead to freedom?

A forbidden love…

2018. When free-spirited marine scientist Rachel Parker is forced to take shelter on an isolated island off the Cornish Coast during a research posting, she discovers a collection of hidden love letters. Captivated by their passion and tenderness, Rachel is determined to find the intended recipient. 

A dangerous secret…

Meanwhile, in London, Eve is helping her grandmother write her memoirs. When she is contacted by Rachel, it sets in motion a chain of events that threatens to reveal secrets kept buried for more than sixty years. 

Three women bound together by a heartbreaking secret. 

A love story that needs to be told.

This beautifully haunting and atmospheric novel, will sweep fans of Kate Morton, Elizabeth Gilbert and Emily Gunnis away this summer.

Thirteen books in total. This includes my book from my monthly Willoughby Book subscription and a NetGalley read. I’m actually quite pleased that I have also read some of these books as well because I do have the habit of buying the books then leaving them for months before I read them.

Please drop me a comment if you have read any of these books.

Happy Reading

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

April 2021 Book Haul

Hello!

So, I have a confession. I made rather a mistake on my book buying. I ordered some books off Waterstones and Wordery and didn’t realise that I had several preordered books due at the same time. The poor postman has had rather a lot of parcels over the last few days. This will mean no more books for a while as bank account needs to recover. One of the books is for my husband, so they aren’t all mine.

So here are my new pretty books…

The Royal Secret by Andrew Taylor

Two young girls plot a murder by witchcraft. Soon afterwards a government clerk dies painfully in mysterious circumstances. His colleague James Marwood is asked to investigate – but the task brings unexpected dangers.
 
Meanwhile, architect Cat Hakesby is working for a merchant who lives on Slaughter Street, where the air smells of blood and a captive Barbary lion prowls the stables. Then a prestigious new commission arrives. Cat must design a Poultry House for the woman that the King loves most in all the world.
 
Unbeknownst to all, at the heart of this lies a royal secret so explosive that it could not only rip apart England but change the entire face of Europe… 

This is the book for my husband who has read all of the Marwood and Lovett series so far. I do plan on reading the series at some point because I have read some of Andrew Taylor’s books before and have really enjoyed them.

Ariadne by Jennifer Saint

As Princesses of Crete and daughters of the fearsome King Minos, Ariadne and her sister Phaedra grow up hearing the hoofbeats and bellows of the Minotaur echo from the Labyrinth beneath the palace. The Minotaur – Minos’s greatest shame and Ariadne’s brother – demands blood every year.

When Theseus, Prince of Athens, arrives in Crete as a sacrifice to the beast, Ariadne falls in love with him. But helping Theseus kill the monster means betraying her family and country, and Ariadne knows only too well that in a world ruled by mercurial gods – drawing their attention can cost you everything.

In a world where women are nothing more than the pawns of powerful men, will Ariadne’s decision to betray Crete for Theseus ensure her happy ending? Or will she find herself sacrificed for her lover’s ambition?

Ariadne gives a voice to the forgotten women of one of the most famous Greek myths, and speaks to their strength in the face of angry, petulant Gods. Beautifully written and completely immersive, this is an exceptional debut novel.

I’m so excited about this book and can’t wait to read it as I love a retelling of a Greek myth. I also love how pretty this edition is!

Sovereign by C. J. Sansom

Autumn, 1541. King Henry VIII has set out on a spectacular Progress to the North to attend an extravagant submission by his rebellious subjects in York.

Already in the city are lawyer Matthew Shardlake and his assistant Jack Barak. As well as legal work processing petitions to the King, Shardlake has reluctantly undertaken a secret mission for Archbishop Cranmer – to ensure the welfare of an important but dangerous conspirator who is to be returned to London for interrogation.

But the murder of a York glazier involves Shardlake in deeper mysteries, connected not only to the prisoner in York Castle but to the royal family itself. And when Shardlake and Barak stumble upon a cache of secret documents which could threaten the Tudor throne, a chain of events unfolds that will lead to Shardlake facing the most terrifying fate of the age . . . 

I love this series so hopefully I will get to read the third instalment soon.

Pietr the Latvian by Georges Simenon

A gripping new translation of the first novel in the famous Inspector Maigret series. What he sought, and what he waited and watched out for, was the crack in the wall. In other words, the instant when the human being comes out from behind the opponent.

Who is Pietr the Latvian? Is he a gentleman thief? A Russian drinking absinthe in a grimy bar? A married Norwegian sea captain? A twisted corpse in a train bathroom? Or is he all of these men? Inspector Maigret, tracking a mysterious adversary and a trail of bodies, must bide his time before the answer can come into focus.

The Late Monsieur Gallet by Georges Simenon

In the third Maigret mystery, the circumstances of Monsieur Gallet’s death all seem fake: the name he was traveling under, his presumed profession, and, more worryingly, his family’s grief. Their haughtiness seems to hide ambiguous feelings about the hapless man. Soon Maigret discovers the appalling truth and the real crime hidden beneath the surface of their lies.

The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien by Georges Simenon

On a trip to Brussels, Maigret unwittingly causes a man’s suicide, but his own remorse is overshadowed by the discovery of the sordid events that drove the desperate man to shoot himself.

The beginning of my Maigret collection! Now Penguin state these are the first three books in the series but Goodreads disagrees so I will have to do some research as I want to read them in order if I can.

The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary

Addie and her sister are about to embark on an epic road trip to a friend’s wedding in the north of Scotland. The playlist is all planned and the snacks are packed.

But, not long after setting off, a car slams into the back of theirs. The driver is none other than Addie’s ex, Dylan, who she’s avoided since their traumatic break-up two years earlier.

Dylan and his best mate are heading to the wedding too, and they’ve totalled their car, so Addie has no choice but to offer them a ride. The car is soon jam-packed full of luggage and secrets, and with three hundred miles ahead of them, Dylan and Addie can’t avoid confronting the very messy history of their relationship…

Will they make it to the wedding on time? And, more importantly… is this really the end of the road for Addie and Dylan?

Now the reason this one isn’t on the picture above is because it hasn’t arrived yet but I am including it because it is arriving tomorrow.

I can’t wait to start reading all these wonderful books!

Please drop me a comment if you have read any of these books.

Happy Reading

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

Christmas Book Haul

Hello!

So this Christmas I had some books for Christmas! I had three books and they are absolutely stunning.

I collect the De Luxe Editions by Harper Collins of Tolkien’s works and my husband very kindly bought me Letters from Father Christmas to add to my collection. In fact it was my husband who started me collecting this set as he gave me The Unfinished Tales for my Christmas present for our first Christmas together.

The next two books are by the same author Charles Van Sandwyk. These two books are Folio Society editions that my in-laws very kindly gave me for Christmas and I absolutely love them especially Letters from Fairyland. The other book is a collection of stories about fairyland called How to See Fairies.

There are my beautiful books!

I really do love beautiful books and that is why I generally end up with more than one edition of a favourite book.

Happy Reading.

Book Haul: 4/04/2020

Hello everyone!

I have bought a few books over the last few days to get me through lockdown, hopefully they prove to be good.

Half A World Away by Mike Gayle

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This is the book I ordered off Wyre Forest Books for their online book club.

The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel

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This was on my wish list for quite a while so I used some of my Waterstones points to buy this and a jigsaw puzzle.

 

Kindle Books

The Gates by Richard Pierce

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I read and reviewed one of Richard Pierce’s books on my blog. It was one of the first books I reviewed on here, Pierce was lovely by sending me a free copy of his book with a very supportive letter encouraging my new blog. Very excited to read these short stories.

Belgravia by Julian Fellowes

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I’ve been watching this on TV and really enjoying it so thought I would see what the book was like.

 

Jigsaw

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This was another Waterstones points purchase. I have been really enjoying jigsaws recently so hopefully this one will be good.

 

So that is my recent book haul. Please let me know if you have read any of these.

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Waterstones Challenge: Norwich

Hello!

It has been ages since I have visited a new Waterstones and ticked another store off my list but finally I have managed one. This week has been half term so I visited my best friend and her husband and their new little boy who is currently 9 weeks old and extremely cute. This meant I had the opportunity to take the little Book Dragon to his first bookshop and buy him a nice book. He slept through the whole experience but I bought him a book and his parents also bought him some books. A very lucky little Dragon!

The book I chose to buy was Winnie the Pooh! I have a beautiful book of Winnie the Pooh that a work colleague of my mom’s bought me when I was little and she told my mom that no child should be without a copy of Winnie the Pooh so I followed her advice.

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I did also treat myself to a book that has been on my wish list for quite some time. I also bought a Waterstones bag that I really liked the look of.

The Lantern Men by Elly Griffiths

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I really liked the Waterstones in Norwich. It was very nice and the cafe was excellent, one of the best soya hot chocolates I have ever tasted.

Well worth a visit for all Book Dragons.

The photo outside the store features my best friend who you will have spotted in another Waterstones picture and her husband and their little Book Dragon in his pram. Sadly it was raining at the time. Massive thank you to Lord Book Dragon for taking the picture.

To see the list so far of my Waterstones visits please click here

 

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New Books 6/01/2020

As promised here are my new books that I got over New Year when visiting Bath. We always visit my favourite bookshop Topping and Company because it always has some very special books and quite often signed editions. Plus when my poor husband is exhausted from following me around the bookshop and carrying the books I’ve already chosen they always offer him a mug of tea.

So here are the books I bought, I tried to be restrained so there are not as many books as I would usually go for.

Goodbye to All Cats by P. G. Woodhouse

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Shakespeare for Every Day of the Year edited by Allie Esiri

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The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

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Hardy 

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Drop me a comment if you have read any of these. I always love to hear your thoughts.

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Christmas Bookish Presents

Hello!

As promised here is my post showing my Christmas presents with a book theme. Thankfully, I had quite a few books and a very groovy book light that I love.

Here are the books I received:-

The Carpet People by Terry Pratchett

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Dreamcatcher by Stephen King

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The Everyday Poet: Poems to Live By edited by Deborah Alma

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Rossetti

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Be More Cat by Alison Davies

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Then there is my amazing new light!

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A lot of these books have been on my wish list for some time so I was really pleased to receive them. Drop me a comment with your thoughts.

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Christmas Reading list: Update

Hello!

So yesterday after spending a great deal of time reading and note taking for my Masters, I decided I would check out Amazon and see if they had any super cheap Christmas books. To be honest I do not usually buy books off Amazon unless it is for my Kindle but yesterday I felt like a treat.

So the list has grown again, I just hope the new books prove to be good. I have also read one of the books on the list and a review will be posted shortly.

The List

A Very Murderous Christmas by various authors

The Night I Met Father Christmas by Ben Miller

Miss Marley by Vanessa Lafaye

A Very Country Christmas by Zara Stonely

A Literary Christmas: An Anthology

Christmas on the Little Cornish Isles by Phillipa Ashley

 

Please drop me a comment if you have any Christmas book recommendations, as I would love to add to the list.

Happy Reading!

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Book Haul 4/11/19

Guess what?

I’ve been buying books again!

Only four books I promise.

Two of the books I got because I found them interesting and linked to my Masters and the other two are pretty and Christmas books so I just had to get them.

Here they are:-

Miss Marley by Vanessa Lafaye

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A Literary Christmas: An Anthology

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Ancient Rome by Virginia Campbell

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Ancient Greece by David Michael Smith

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I cannot wait to start reading them!

Happy Reading!

 

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Book Haul 28/10/2019

Hello everyone!

Well today is my first day of half term and I celebrated by having a lie in and a leisurely day. I had to run into our nearest town to run some errands and my husband suggested visiting Waterstones for a browse. Well a browse is something that never happens with me, it always ends in buying books. I was just going to buy Now You See Them by Elly Griffiths but my husband said that Wakenhyrst by Michelle Paver looked good so I ended up buying another book because it was on buy one get one half price.

Not too much damage with just three books bought.

Now You See Them by Elly Griffiths

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Wakenhyrst by Michelle Paver

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A Keeper by Graham Norton

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Please drop me a comment if you have read any of these books. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Happy reading.

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