Tag Archives: AmReading

This Week in Books – 12-09-18

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This Week in Books is a feature hosted by Lipsy at Lipsyy Lost and Found that allows bloggers to share:

  • What they’ve recently finished reading
  • What they are currently reading
  • What they are planning to read next

The last book I finished reading was Snare by Lilja Sigurdardóttir, which I absolutely loved!  Review to come!

snare

After a messy divorce, attractive young mother Sonia is struggling to provide for herself and keep custody of her son.  With her back to the wall, she resorts to smuggling cocaine into Iceland, and finds herself caught up in a ruthless criminal world.  As she desperately looks for a way out of trouble, she must pit her wits against her nemesis, Bragi, a customs officer, whose years of experience frustrate her new and evermore daring strategies.  Things become even more complicated when Sonia embarks on a relationship with a woman, Agla.  Once a high-level bank executive, Agla is currently being prosecuted in the aftermath of the Icelandic financial crash.

Set in a Reykjavík still covered in the dust of the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption, and with a dark, fast-paced and chilling plot and intriguing characters, Snare is an outstandingly original and sexy Nordic crime thriller, from one of the most exciting new names in crime fiction.


My current read is The Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips.

the beautiful bureaucrat

Part modern fairytale, part existentialist thriller, this is a breathtaking joyride of a novel for the summer

If the job market hadn’t been so bleak during that long, humid summer, Josephine might have been discouraged from taking the administrative position in a windowless building in a remote part of town.

As the days inch by and the files stack up, Josephine feels increasingly anxious in her surroundings – the drone of keyboards echoes eerily down the long halls, her boss has terrible breath, and there are cockroaches in the bath of her sub-let. When one evening her husband Joseph disappears and then returns, offering no explanation as to his whereabouts, her creeping unease shifts decidedly to dread.

Both chilling and poignant, this novel asks the biggest questions about marriage and fidelity, birth and death. Helen Phillips twists the world we know and shows it back to us full of meaning and wonder – luminous and new.


I’m not sure what my next read will be at the moment.  It might be The Shoemaker and His Daughter by Conor O’Clery.  It might be something else entirely!  We’ll see!

the shoemaker and his daughter

The Soviet Union, 1962.  Shoemaker Stanislav Suvorov is imprisoned for five years.  His crime?  Selling his car for a profit, contravening the Kremlin’s strict laws of speculation.  Laws which, thirty years later, his daughter Zhanna helps to unravel.  In the new Russia, yesterday’s crime is today’s opportunity.

On his release from prison, social shame drives Stanislav to voluntary exile in Siberia, moving his family from a relatively comfortable, continental life in Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, to frigid, farthest-flung Krasnoyarsk.  For some, it is the capital of the gulag.  For others, it is the chance to start over again.

These are the last days of a Soviet Union in which the Communist Party and KGB desperately cling to power, in which foreigners are unwelcome and travel abroad is restricted, where the queues for bread are daily and debilitating and where expressing views in favour of democracy and human rights can get you imprisoned or sent into exile.

The Shoemaker and His Daughter takes in more than eighty years of Soviet and Russian history through the prism of one family – a family author Conor O’Clery knows well: he is married to Zhanna.  It paints a vivid picture of a complex part of the world at a seismic moment in its history: of erratic war and uneasy peace; of blind power and its frequent abuse; of misguided ideologies and stifling bureaucracy; of the slow demise of Communism and the chaotic embrace of capitalism.  The Suvorovs witness it all.  Both intimate and sweeping in scale, this is a story of ordinary lives battered and shaped by extraordinary times.


And that’s my week in books! What are you reading this week?  Let me know in the comments! 😎

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This Week in Books – 05-09-18

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This Week in Books is a feature hosted by Lipsy at Lipsyy Lost and Found that allows bloggers to share:

  • What they’ve recently finished reading
  • What they are currently reading
  • What they are planning to read next

The last book I finished reading was Overkill by Vanda Symon, which I reviewed yesterday as part of the blog tour.

overkill

When the body of a young mother is found washed up on the banks of the Mataura River, a small rural community is rocked by her tragic suicide. But all is not what it seems.

Sam Shephard, sole-charge police constable in Mataura, soon discovers the death was no suicide and has to face the realisation that there is a killer in town. To complicate the situation, the murdered woman was the wife of her former lover. When Sam finds herself on the list of suspects and suspended from duty, she must cast aside her personal feelings and take matters into her own hands.

To find the murderer… and clear her name.

A taut, atmospheric and page-turning thriller, Overkill marks the start of an unputdownable and unforgettable series from one of New Zealand’s finest crime writers.


My current read is The Labyrinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, which I’m really enjoying!

the labyrinth of the spirits

As a child, Daniel Sempere discovered among the passageways of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books an extraordinary novel that would change the course of his life. Now a young man in the Barcelona of the late 1950s, Daniel runs the Sempere & Sons bookshop and enjoys a seemingly fulfilling life with his loving wife and son. Yet the mystery surrounding the death of his mother continues to plague his soul despite the moving efforts of his wife Bea and his faithful friend Fermín to save him.

Just when Daniel believes he is close to solving this enigma, a conspiracy more sinister than he could have imagined spreads its tentacles from the hellish regime. That is when Alicia Gris appears, a soul born out of the nightmare of the war. She is the one who will lead Daniel to the edge of the abyss and reveal the secret history of his family, although at a terrifying price.

The Labyrinth of the Spirits is an electrifying tale of passion, intrigue and adventure. Within its haunting pages Carlos Ruiz Zafón masterfully weaves together plots and subplots in an intricate and intensely imagined homage to books, the art of storytelling and that magical bridge between literature and our lives.


My next read is likely to be The Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips.

the beautiful bureaucrat

Part modern fairytale, part existentialist thriller, this is a breathtaking joyride of a novel for the summer

If the job market hadn’t been so bleak during that long, humid summer, Josephine might have been discouraged from taking the administrative position in a windowless building in a remote part of town.

As the days inch by and the files stack up, Josephine feels increasingly anxious in her surroundings – the drone of keyboards echoes eerily down the long halls, her boss has terrible breath, and there are cockroaches in the bath of her sub-let. When one evening her husband Joseph disappears and then returns, offering no explanation as to his whereabouts, her creeping unease shifts decidedly to dread.

Both chilling and poignant, this novel asks the biggest questions about marriage and fidelity, birth and death. Helen Phillips twists the world we know and shows it back to us full of meaning and wonder – luminous and new.


And that’s my week in books! What are you reading this week?  Let me know in the comments! 😎

This Week in Books – 29-08-18

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This Week in Books is a feature hosted by Lipsy at Lipsyy Lost and Found that allows bloggers to share:

  • What they’ve recently finished reading
  • What they are currently reading
  • What they are planning to read next

The last book I finished reading was Summer of Secrets by Nikola Scott.  I really enjoyed this, and my review will be up later this week.

summer of secrets

August 1939

At peaceful Summerhill, orphaned Maddy hides from the world and the rumours of war.  Then her adored sister Georgina returns from a long trip with a new friend, the handsome Victor.  Maddy fears that Victor is not all he seems, but she has no idea just what kind of danger has come into their lives…

Today

Chloe is newly pregnant.  This should be a joyful time, but she is fearful for the future, despite her husband’s devotion.  When chance takes her to Summerhill, she’s drawn into the mystery of what happened there decades before.  And the past reaches out to touch her in ways that could change everything…


My current read is Overkill by Vanda Symon, which I’m reading for the blog tour (my review will be posted on 4 September).

overkill

When the body of a young mother is found washed up on the banks of the Mataura River, a small rural community is rocked by her tragic suicide. But all is not what it seems.

Sam Shephard, sole-charge police constable in Mataura, soon discovers the death was no suicide and has to face the realisation that there is a killer in town. To complicate the situation, the murdered woman was the wife of her former lover. When Sam finds herself on the list of suspects and suspended from duty, she must cast aside her personal feelings and take matters into her own hands.

To find the murderer… and clear her name.

A taut, atmospheric and page-turning thriller, Overkill marks the start of an unputdownable and unforgettable series from one of New Zealand’s finest crime writers.


My next read will by The Labyrinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, and I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am about reading this latest instalment in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books series.

the labyrinth of the spirits

As a child, Daniel Sempere discovered among the passageways of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books an extraordinary novel that would change the course of his life. Now a young man in the Barcelona of the late 1950s, Daniel runs the Sempere & Sons bookshop and enjoys a seemingly fulfilling life with his loving wife and son. Yet the mystery surrounding the death of his mother continues to plague his soul despite the moving efforts of his wife Bea and his faithful friend Fermín to save him.

Just when Daniel believes he is close to solving this enigma, a conspiracy more sinister than he could have imagined spreads its tentacles from the hellish regime. That is when Alicia Gris appears, a soul born out of the nightmare of the war. She is the one who will lead Daniel to the edge of the abyss and reveal the secret history of his family, although at a terrifying price.

The Labyrinth of the Spirits is an electrifying tale of passion, intrigue and adventure. Within its haunting pages Carlos Ruiz Zafón masterfully weaves together plots and subplots in an intricate and intensely imagined homage to books, the art of storytelling and that magical bridge between literature and our lives.


And that’s my week in books! What are you reading this week?  Let me know in the comments! 😎

This Week in Books – 22-08-18

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This Week in Books is a feature hosted by Lipsy at Lipsyy Lost and Found that allows bloggers to share:

  • What they’ve recently finished reading
  • What they are currently reading
  • What they are planning to read next

The last book I finished reading was Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough, which I really enjoyed!  I’m a little behind on my reviews at the moment, but I’m slowly catching up!  

cross her heart

Lisa lives for her daughter Ava, her job, and her best friend Marilyn, but when a handsome client shows an interest in her, Lisa starts daydreaming about sharing her life with him too.  Maybe she’s ready now.  Maybe she can trust again.  Maybe it’s time to let her terrifying secret past go.  Then her daughter rescues a boy from drowning and their pictures are all over the news for everyone to see.  Lisa’s world explodes, and she finds everything she has built threatened.  Not knowing whom she can trust, it’s up to her to face her past to save what she holds dear.


My current read is Inhuman Resources by Pierre Lemaitre.  I’ve only just started this, and whilst it’s a strange idea, I’m really enjoying it so far!

inhuman resources

Alain Delambre is a 57-year-old former HR executive, drained by four years of hopeless unemployment.

All he is offered are small, demoralising jobs.  He has reached his very lowest ebb, and can see no way out.

So when a major company finally invites him to an interview, Alain Delambre is ready to do anything, borrow money, shame his wife and his daughters and even participate in the ultimate recruitment test: a role-playing game that involves hostage-taking.

Alain Delambre commits body and soul in this struggle to regain his dignity.

But if he suddenly realised that the dice had been loaded against him from the start, his fury would be limitless.

And what began as a role-play game could quickly become a bloodbath.


My next book will be Summer of Secrets by Nikola Scott.  I adored Nikola’s debut novel, My Mother’s Shadow, and can’t wait to dive into this.

summer of secrets

August 1939

At peaceful Summerhill, orphaned Maddy hides from the world and the rumours of war.  Then her adored sister Georgina returns from a long trip with a new friend, the handsome Victor.  Maddy fears that Victor is not all he seems, but she has no idea just what kind of danger has come into their lives…

Today

Chloe is newly pregnant.  This should be a joyful time, but she is fearful for the future, despite her husband’s devotion.  When chance takes her to Summerhill, she’s drawn into the mystery of what happened there decades before.  And the past reaches out to touch her in ways that could change everything…


And that’s my week in books! What are you reading this week?  Let me know in the comments! 😎

This Week in Books – 08-08-18

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This Week in Books is a feature hosted by Lipsy at Lipsyy Lost and Found that allows bloggers to share:

  • What they’ve recently finished reading
  • What they are currently reading
  • What they are planning to read next

The last book I finished reading was Snap by Belinda Bauer.  I really enjoyed this, and I’ll be posting a (mini) review soon!

snap

SNAP DECISIONS CAN BE DANGEROUS…

On a stifling summer’s day, eleven-year-old Jack and his two sisters sit in their broken-down car, waiting for their mother to come back and rescue them.  Jack’s in charge, she’d said.  I won’t be long.

But she doesn’t come back.  She never comes back.  And life as the children know it is changed for ever.

Three years later, Jack is still in charge – of his sisters, of supporting them all, of making sure nobody knows they’re alone in the house, and – quite suddenly – of finding out the truth about what happened to his mother…


My current read is (yes, finally!) City of Lies by Sam Hawke.

city of lies

I was seven years old the first time my uncle poisoned me…

Only a handful of people in Silasta know Jovan’s real purpose in life. To most, he is just another son of the ruling class. The quiet, forgettable friend of the Chancellor’s charming, irresponsible heir. In reality, Jovan has been trained for most of his life to detect, concoct and withstand poisons in order to protect the ruling family.

His sister Kalina is too frail to share in their secret family duty. While other women of the city hold positions of power and responsibility, her path is full of secrets and lies – some hidden even from her own brother.

Until now, peace has reigned in Silasta for hundreds of years. But when the Chancellor succumbs to an unknown poison and an army storms the gates, the so-called Bright City is completely unprepared. It falls to Jovan and Kalina to protect the heir and save their homeland – but first they must make their way through a new world of unexpected treachery, a world where the ancient spirits are rising… and angry.


My next book will probably be Bitter Sun by Beth Lewis.

bitter sun

It all started when we found the body.

Then nothing was ever the same.

The Dry meets Stand by Me and True Detective in this stunningly written tale of the darkness at the heart of a small mid-Western town and the four kids who uncover it.

In the heatwave summer of 1971, four kids find a body by a lake and set out to solve a murder.  But they dig too deep and ask too many questions.

Larson is a town reeling in the wake of the Vietnam draft, where the unrelenting heat ruins the harvest, and the people teeter on the edge of ruin.

As tension and paranoia run rife, rumours become fact, violence becomes reflex.  The unrest allows the dark elements of the close-knit farming community to rise and take control.

And John, Jenny, Gloria and Rudy are about to discover that sometimes secrets are best left uncovered…


And that’s my week in books! What are you reading this week?  Let me know in the comments! 😎

This Week in Books – 01-08-18

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This Week in Books is a feature hosted by Lipsy at Lipsyy Lost and Found that allows bloggers to share:

  • What they’ve recently finished reading
  • What they are currently reading
  • What they are planning to read next

The last book I finished reading was The Watchmaker of Filigree Street which I didn’t enjoy as much as I thought I would.  I do love the cover though.

the watchmaker of filigree street

In 1883, Thaniel Steepleton returns to his tiny flat to find a gold pocketwatch on his pillow.  When the watch saves Thaniel’s life in a blast that destroys Scotland Yard, he goes in search of its maker, Keita Mori – a kind, lonely Japanese immigrant.  Meanwhile, Grace Carrow is sneaking into an Oxford library, desperate to prove the existence of the luminiferous ether before her mother can force her to marry.

As the lives of these three characters become entwined, events spiral out of control until Thaniel is torn between loyalties, futures and opposing geniuses.


My current read is Bad Blood by E. O. Chirovici.

bad blood

You can’t trust your own memories.

You can’t trust other people’s.

So how do you know what really happened that night?

One rainy night in New York, psychologist James Cobb gives a talk on the art of recovering lost memories.  Afterwards, he’s approached by a stranger: a dying man who, forty years ago, woke up in a hotel room with a murdered woman, and no memory at all of what happened.  Now, he needs to know whether he was an innocent bystander – or a killer.

Intrigued, James begins to unpick the tangled threads of this decades-old mystery.  But everyone involved has a different story to tell, and every fact he uncovers has another interpretation.  As his interest becomes an obsession, and secrets from his own past start to surface, he begins to suspect that someone has buried the truth deep enough to hide it forever.

For fans of Joel Dicker, Peter Swanson and SJ Watson, Bad Blood tells a gripping story of memory, motives, and how little we really know about ourselves.


Now, the observant among you will notice that this time last week, my next planned read was City of Lies by Sam Hawke.  It turned out not to be by next read after all, so maybe this week!

city of lies

I was seven years old the first time my uncle poisoned me…

Only a handful of people in Silasta know Jovan’s real purpose in life. To most, he is just another son of the ruling class. The quiet, forgettable friend of the Chancellor’s charming, irresponsible heir. In reality, Jovan has been trained for most of his life to detect, concoct and withstand poisons in order to protect the ruling family.

His sister Kalina is too frail to share in their secret family duty. While other women of the city hold positions of power and responsibility, her path is full of secrets and lies – some hidden even from her own brother.

Until now, peace has reigned in Silasta for hundreds of years. But when the Chancellor succumbs to an unknown poison and an army storms the gates, the so-called Bright City is completely unprepared. It falls to Jovan and Kalina to protect the heir and save their homeland – but first they must make their way through a new world of unexpected treachery, a world where the ancient spirits are rising… and angry.


And that’s my week in books! What are you reading this week?  Let me know in the comments! 😎

This Week in Books – 25-07-18

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This Week in Books is a feature hosted by Lipsy at Lipsyy Lost and Found that allows bloggers to share:

  • What they’ve recently finished reading
  • What they are currently reading
  • What they are planning to read next

The last book I finished reading was An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena, and I’ll share my review on this next Monday as part of the blog tour.

an unwanted guest

We can’t choose the strangers we meet.

As the guests arrive at beautiful, remote Mitchell’s Inn, they’re all looking forward to a relaxing weekend deep in the forest, miles from anywhere. They watch their fellow guests with interest, from a polite distance.

Usually we can avoid the people who make us nervous, make us afraid.

With a violent storm raging, the group finds itself completely cut off from the outside world. Nobody can get in – or out. And then the first body is found . . . and the horrifying truth comes to light. There’s a killer among them – and nowhere to run.

Until we find ourselves in a situation we can’t escape. Trapped.


My current read is The Liar’s Room by Simon Lelic which is published next month.

the liar's room

Susanna Fenton has a secret. Fourteen years ago she left her identity behind, reinventing herself as a counsellor and starting a new life. It was the only way to keep her daughter safe.

But everything changes when Adam Geraghty walks into her office. She’s never met this young man before – so why does she feel like she knows him?

Then Adam starts to tell her about a girl. A girl he wants to hurt.

And Susanna realises she was wrong. She doesn’t know him. BUT HE KNOWS HER.

AND THE GIRL HE PLANS TO HURT IS HER DAUGHTER…


I’m not 100% sure, but I think that my next read will be City of Lies by Sam Hawke.

city of lies

I was seven years old the first time my uncle poisoned me…

Only a handful of people in Silasta know Jovan’s real purpose in life. To most, he is just another son of the ruling class. The quiet, forgettable friend of the Chancellor’s charming, irresponsible heir. In reality, Jovan has been trained for most of his life to detect, concoct and withstand poisons in order to protect the ruling family.

His sister Kalina is too frail to share in their secret family duty. While other women of the city hold positions of power and responsibility, her path is full of secrets and lies – some hidden even from her own brother.

Until now, peace has reigned in Silasta for hundreds of years. But when the Chancellor succumbs to an unknown poison and an army storms the gates, the so-called Bright City is completely unprepared. It falls to Jovan and Kalina to protect the heir and save their homeland – but first they must make their way through a new world of unexpected treachery, a world where the ancient spirits are rising… and angry.


And that’s my week in books! What are you reading this week?  Let me know in the comments! 😎