The Weekly Brief

Hello!

I hope everyone has had a good weekend so far.

I actually went into a bookshop this week, the first one in over 18 months. I will be honest I got a little bit carried away.

Posts this Week

Currently Reading

Just started this last night so far so good.

Acquired Books

So there is another week on the blog.

Happy Reading

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

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir (Review)

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Blurb

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 crew mates 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?

Review

I have finally got around to reading this as I let my husband read it first. I was so excited to read this as I absolutely love The Martian and have read it more than once as I just love the humour in the book.

I love how this story begins because we as the reader know exactly as much as Ryland Grace and we start to get all the facts as Grace finds them out or remembers them himself. You also soon realise that Grace is quite amusing and the humour reminds me a lot of Whatney from The Martian. This book made me laugh a great deal I must admit. I also loved how Grace names everything. I also name everything; my printer at university was called Vinnie. 

Stratt is a scary character but a woman of power and I do find her highly amusing and intimidating. She stands no messing and will do anything and everything to make sure Project Hail Mary is a success. I also really like how Stratt and Grace interact and what other people think of their relationship. 

My favourite character is Grace’s ally Rocky. I won’t say much about Rocky as I don’t want to spoil it for anyone but Rocky is adorable and I think he is wonderful and funny. He really is a fascinating character and I would happily read another book all about Rocky. He is extremely clever and can build or fix anything. 

The book has diagrams of the space ship at the beginning of the book and this is really helpful for understanding certain things that happen in the book. I also really enjoyed the science experiments in this book and that Weir was not afraid to give all the details in the book rather than skipping over the details. This is a really good science fiction novel and I couldn’t put it down. I give this book 5 out of 5 Dragons.

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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.)

About the author

Andy Weir built a career as a software engineer until the success of his first published novel, The Martian, allowed him to live out his dream of writing full time. He is a lifelong space nerd and a devoted hobbyist of subjects such as relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, and the history of manned spaceflight. He also mixes a mean cocktail. He lives in California.

Have you read this book? I would love to hear your thoughts, please drop me a comment.

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

Goodreads Monday: 19/07/2021

Goodreads Monday is hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners.  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. I have caught up on loads of admin and annoying things that take up time and I’ve fitted in some dissertation writing.

I thought I would feature another book on my ever increasing TBR list.

This weeks choice is nonfiction book.

An engrossing biography of the longest-reigning female pharaoh in Ancient Egypt and the story of her audacious rise to power in a man’s world.

Hatshepsut, the daughter of a general who took Egypt’s throne without status as a king’s son and a mother with ties to the previous dynasty, was born into a privileged position of the royal household. Married to her brother, she was expected to bear the sons who would legitimize the reign of her father’s family. Her failure to produce a male heir was ultimately the twist of fate that paved the way for her inconceivable rule as a cross-dressing king. At just twenty, Hatshepsut ascended to the rank of king in an elaborate coronation ceremony that set the tone for her spectacular twenty-two year reign as co-regent with Thutmose III, the infant king whose mother Hatshepsut out-maneuvered for a seat on the throne. Hatshepsut was a master strategist, cloaking her political power plays with the veil of piety and sexual expression. Just as women today face obstacles from a society that equates authority with masculinity, Hatshepsut had to shrewdly operate the levers of a patriarchal system to emerge as Egypt’s second female pharaoh.

Hatshepsut had successfully negotiated a path from the royal nursery to the very pinnacle of authority, and her reign saw one of Ancient Egypt’s most prolific building periods. Scholars have long speculated as to why her images were destroyed within a few decades of her death, all but erasing evidence of her rule. Constructing a rich narrative history using the artifacts that remain, noted Egyptologist Kara Cooney offers a remarkable interpretation of how Hatshepsut rapidly but methodically consolidated power—and why she fell from public favor just as quickly. The Woman Who Would Be King traces the unconventional life of an almost-forgotten pharaoh and explores our complicated reactions to women
in power. 

I love anything to do with Ancient Egypt so I am really looking forward to read this.

Please drop me a comment if you have a Goodreads Monday post and I will head over for a visit. If you have read this book please let me know your thoughts.

Happy Reading.

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 great weekend.

The blog has been left behind a bit this week sadly, but hopefully I will do better with the start of a new week.

Posts this Week

Currently Reading

Finding this very funny and hard to put down.

So there is another week on the blog.

I hope you all have a wonderful week. Please drop me a comment if you want to chat about books!

Happy Reading

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

Cibola Burns by James S. A. Corey (Review)

Cibola Burn by James S. A. Corey

Blurb

The gates have opened the way to thousands of habitable planets, and the land rush has begun. Settlers stream out from humanity’s home planets in a vast, poorly controlled flood, landing on a new world. Among them, the Rocinante, haunted by the vast, posthuman network of the protomolecule as they investigate what destroyed the great intergalactic society that built the gates and the protomolecule.

But Holden and his crew must also contend with the growing tensions between the settlers and the company which owns the official claim to the planet. Both sides will stop at nothing to defend what’s theirs, but soon a terrible disease strikes and only Holden – with help from the ghostly Detective Miller – can find the cure.

Review

I will be honest I always find the beginning of The Expanse books a little slow but once I get into them and the story starts to get moving and I simply can’t put the book down. Cibola Burns proved to be exactly the same.

As usual the book is told from a few characters’ points of view and the characters that we had this time were Holden, Basia, Elvi, Havelock and The Investigator. The prologue is from Bobbie and the epilogue is by Avasarala. Each chapter is told by a different character and shows us each scene and situation from the point of view of that character. 

Holden we know really well by now, captain of the Rocinante and a man who always tries to do the right thing but does have a habit of inadvertently causing conflict between people. Holden is sent with his crew Naomi, Alex and my favourite Amos through the gates to help mediate the situation between the Belters and RCE on the new planet Ilus. Both the Belters and RCE claim the planet is theirs but the Belters were there first and they will do anything they can to make sure they can keep it and the mining rights. 

Basia is one of the Belters on Ilus and he lives there with his wife and two children but Basia has fallen in with the wrong crowd and makes some questionable decisions which land him in hot water. However, he is a good man and a dam good welder who will do anything he can to help his family.

Elvi is one of the scientists who arrive with the RCE ship and I must admit she is rather annoying. Yes, she is clearly a genius and is very useful for the story but the way she follows Holden around like a lost puppy is rather annoying and she can be rather heartless sometimes with the things she says. She forgets people have feelings sometimes.

Havelock we have already met as he was Miller’s partner at one point. Havelock is now working for the security of RCE and is trying to keep a ship full of scientists calm. Havelock is a character who always tries to do the right thing. He is understanding and tries to keep everyone happy but sadly he has a rather different boss who makes him do things he is not keen on or embarrassed about.

The Investigator was actually my favourite point of view and I found it rather fascinating and I was frustrated that we did not see more of The Investigator. I will not say more as don’t want to spoil the character. 

Overall, this story touches many points, immigration, major corporations crushing the little people, love, terrorism and much more. I particularly liked seeing how the intruders on the planet were effected by the natural ecosystem of the planet. I give this book 5 out 5 Dragons. 

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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.)

About the author

James S. A. Corey is the pen name of fantasy author Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, George R. R. Martin’s assistant. They both live Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Reviews of previous Expanse books

Leviathan Wakes

Caliban’s War

Abaddon’s Gate

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

WWW Wednesday: 14/07/2021

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. It has been another busy week so far for me but I have managed to get some reading in as well.

What I am Currently Reading

I just started this yesterday and I am hooked!

What I Have Recently Finished Reading

I absolutely loved this! Review will follow soon.

What I Think I will Read Next

As usual I am never sure what I will read next but it will be possibly one of these.

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

Happy Reading

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

The Weekly Brief

Happy Sunday!

I hope everyone is having a good weekend so far.

Here is what I have been up to on the blog.

Posts this Week

Currently Reading

Acquired Books

I treated myself to these two books because they were only £2 each. I do love a bargain!

Happy Reading

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

The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien by Georges Simenon (Review)

The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien by Georges Simenon

Blurb

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.

Review

I found this story so sad especially at the beginning. At the beginning we find Maigret following a man who is clearly very poor and troubled and for some reason Maigret has decided to follow the man because Maigret finds his behaviour intriguing. However, because of Maigret’s actions the man commits suicide and this really disturbs Maigret so Maigret decides to find out what drove this poor man to his actions. I must admit I was rather angry with Maigret at the beginning because of his silly actions causing a suicide. They were a bit childish for me and it was like Maigret was bored so decided to follow this poor man. 

This story takes place in France, Belgium and Germany and Maigret has to move from country to country to find the answers he requires and there is considerable danger involved for Maigret as well. 

This story is so atmospheric and full of drama you were never quite sure what would happen next. There were also some very suspicious and creepy characters involved as well which you just know are wrong. People try to prevent Maigret from finding out the truth but Maigret in his terrier like fashion hunts down the facts that he needs to build the picture and find the truth.

Overall, I found this story very sad. I was sad for the man who committed suicide and sad for the hanged man of Saint Pholien. I could not put this book down once I started it because I needed to know what happened in the past. I give this book 5 out of 5 Dragons.

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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.)

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.

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

Acquired Books of June 2021

Hello!

So I almost forgot my round up of the month of all the lovely books that I acquired in June!

Thankfully I have remembered because I do like being able to see all the books I have got and what I have got left to read.

Books I Acquired in June

Once upon a time, inhabitants of another world tore a hole through the universe and came to Earth. They called themselves Suriias, and rivalled humans in knowledge and skill with one great exception: they had magic.

War followed. Humanity lost. And three hundred years later, humans are on the brink of extinction.

Orphans Thorn and Thistle live in hiding. They are the last of their families, the last of their friends. They scrape by, stealing to survive and living on the streets or hiding in sheds. But even under the brutal regime of the Suriias, there are places where humans can mingle in secret with magical sympathisers, and one night Thistle gets an unexpected offer of marriage from a Suriia with high standing and friends in all the right places. For Thistle, it’s a chance at safety and comfort; for Thorn, it’s a chance to find the ones who killed her parents.

And so the pair move into the capital city of Courtenz. An urban monstrosity of magic and might, false friends and flying cars, drones and death tolls, the new city promises a fresh start – and new love – for both. 

But if there’s one thing Thorn knows for certain, it’s that dreams can swiftly turn into nightmares.

Review

A nest of vipers, they called us. But that is not how it was.

Mercia, 775 AD. In the grand Saxon halls of Mercia, King Offa rules with ruthless ambition. Aggressive and relentlessly acquisitive, his three daughters are destined to marry advantageously in service of their country. Eadburh, the youngest, is neither the cleverest nor the most beautiful of the three. But, with her father’s ruthless spirit and the secret gifts passed down from her mother, she is determined to carve her own path in the world.

2021. Simon Armstrong has escaped to a secluded cottage on the English-Welsh borders, desperate to finish his book about Anglo-Saxon King Offa. But he soon finds himself disturbed by unsettling noises and visions. Calling in local expert Bea to identify the issue, Simon hopes to get back some peace – but soon Bea is as embroiled as he is, feeling increasingly connected to a ghostly presence that is growing ever-stronger in its desire for revenge.

And when Simon’s daughter disappears, centuries of secrets and resentment begin to tumble out…

All Andrew wants is to be normal. That’s why his coworkers believe he has the perfect wife and two children waiting at home for him after a long day. But the truth is, his life isn’t exactly as people think . . . and his little white lie is about to catch up with him. Because in all of Andrew’s efforts to fit in, he’s forgotten one important thing: how to really live. And maybe, it’s finally time for him to start.

Only three books acquired in June! To be honest I am in shock as I expected it to be a lot worse. One of these was a lovely gift from the author and the other was my Willoughby Book Club monthly subscription. This means last month I only bought one book!

Happy Reading

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

WWW Wednesday: 7/07/2021

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 seem to have been quite busy this week so far which has has sadly meant less reading.

What I am Currently Reading

Still reading this and still enjoying it. I just wish I had more time to read it.

What I Have Recently Finished Reading

I read this whilst my husband was watching the Grand Prix and I think this will be a new tradition for me. Reading a Maigret book whilst the Grand Prix is on should help my Goodreads Challenge. Review will follow shortly.

What I Think I will Read Next

As usual I’m never sure what I will read next but maybe it will be one of these.

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

Happy Reading

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