The Book Whisperer’s Month in Review – March 2017

month 1

March appears to have been a mixture of Historical and crime fiction for me, with 7 books read in total, and all bar one having been reviewed (the missing one to come shortly). I’ve discovered 5 brand new (to me) authors and out of those 5, four of them were debuts.

I have listed them in order (best first), although I really enjoyed all bar one (of the ones I finished – there are also some that didn’t make the cut because I couldn’t finish them). The stand out books for me this month were Larchfield and Six Stories. Links to full reviews in the book titles.

Larchfield by Polly Clark

larchfield

Larchfield was a book I felt I wanted to savour and not attempt to read quickly due to my ever-increasing TBR pile. It was a book I looked forward to getting back to when I wasn’t reading it, not because it was a great thriller or mystery and I needed to know what was happening, but because I was happy in the company of the characters and the gorgeous prose.

Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski

six

A great book: original, engaging and written by an author that is one to watch. Highly, highly recommended!

The Girl Before by J P Delaney

girl before

I found this to be a real page-turner and  I thoroughly enjoyed it. The chapters are short, there are unreliable narrators so you’re never really clear on what’s real and what’s not. It was pacy and entertaining and I give it a big thumbs up.

To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey

to-the-bright-edge-of-the-world

I think I wanted to love this book more than I did. And that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it – I did, very much. Perhaps it was a case of great expectations and it didn’t quite hit the mark. Would I recommend? Yes, I absolutely would.

Fierce Kingdom

FIERCE-KINGDOM-by-Gin-Phillips-small

I liked the fact that this isn’t your normal type of thriller and, there were genuine edge-of-your-seat moments that ensure those pages kept turning. And I actually didn’t see the end coming…

The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain

gustav

I loved this book and was moved by it, and yet there were parts that left me strangely cold. The boys, as adults, seemed hardly to have matured at all which is a shame and in terms of character development, I didn’t feel there really was any. Or perhaps that was the point? The blurb talks about the book being about friendship but I found it very one-sided, and never really felt the friendship in maybe the way I was intended to. That said, I would still highly recommend this book: Rose Tremain is a fantastic writer.

After the Crash by Michel Bussi

after

Review to follow.

The Vanishing by Sophia Tobin

vanishing

I am left with a feeling that is somewhere between perplexed, disappointed and scratching my head with incomprehension. Unbelievable motives, unconvincing and clichéd characters and a feeling that I have wasted several hours of my life. Every now and then I would have a moment of hope / joy when I thought the book might just get back on track again but unfortunately those were all too infrequent and brief.

Have you read any of these or are you planning to? I’d love to hear what you think.

My favourite books of 2010

 

This was so difficult to narrow down – SOOOOO difficult! But narrow it down I have and here are the top 10 books I read in 2010:

 

East Lynne by Ellen Wood

“For about three weeks I felt like I was living in the middle of a Victorian soap-opera. There was murder, betrayal, divorce, disguises and death and all this set among a backdrop of stately homes and horse-and-carriages. What’s not to love?”

 

 

Corrag by Susan Fletcher

“It is truly one of the most beautiful and lyrical books I have ever read.”

 

 

Dog Boy by Eva Hornung

“The story is alternately shocking, pitiful, heartbreaking, tender, joyful and fascinating. I fell in love, smiled, cried and hoped. To live with this group of animals for a few days was a privelidge and one I won’t forget easily.”

 

 

Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa

“Although this book is only 330 pages long, it felt like an epic to me. I have spent 60 years with this family, watching them love, loose, fight, cry. I’m going to miss them. I cried at the end – not just because of their story but because of all the other thousands of peoples story – real people.”

 

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

“This book has it all: class conflict, politics, religion, women’s rights and passion! It makes you think, it makes you reflect on what was and it makes you ponder how we got from there to where we are now. We smile with them, we cry with them.”

 

The Likeness by Tana French

“I just loved this book, I found that I couldn’t and put it down, nor did I want to. Despite the size of the book, I never once felt like it was too long; on the contrary I could have gone on reading for several hundred more.”

 

 

The Snowman by Jo Nesbo

“The whole book, for me, pacey and gritty and just not wanting to put the damn thing down. If you enjoy crime / thrillers / whodunnits then you will LOVE this!”

 

 

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

“I feel like I have lost friends now I have finished this book.”

 

 

 

Room by Emma Donoghue

“Room is both brilliantly written but also gripping: it took hold of me from the first page and never let me go until the end.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Crossing Places  & The Janus Stone  by Elly Griffiths

“So what do you do when you’re busy, busy, busy and you’re brain is crying out for a book that will allow you to slip inbetween the pages from one life into another with complete ease?”

(OK, so I’m cheating here but I had to include them both as I read the first two books in a new series this year and fell in love with it – roll on the next books!)

 

Have you read any of these? What do you think to my 2010 favourites?

 

  

 

A Spooktacular October and an Indulgent November

 Mwahahaaaaa!

What a spooktacular month October was….I embarked on my mission to read only spooky or scary books in honour of Halloween.

My mission was to find something that scared the pants off me. Did I find it? 

Read in October:

 

 

Naomi’s Room by Jonathan Aycliffe 

The Phantom Coach by Amelia B Edwards

Comes the Blind Fury by John Saul

Classic Victorian and Edwardian Ghost Stories by Various – review coming shortly

Halloween Party by Agatha Christie

Dark Matter: A Ghost Story by Michelle Paver

Dracula by Bram Stoker – review coming shortly

Books reviewed (but not read) as part of the Dare you read it? series:

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

Her fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

 

So what are my spooky recommendations?

 

Disappointingly, I didn’t find any book that scared the wits out of me, which really surprised me as I am an absolute wimp when it comes to scary films. That said, I really enjoyed every single book I read this month and although I didn’t find anything to freak me out, some of the books were really well written with regards to creating errie atmosphere and here are my top two:

 

 

My indulgent November

 

 

And now on to this month…

I am planning a month of pure indulgent reading. Whatever I fancy: no rules, no must-reads, no specific genres, authors, publishers……nada!

I will read what I want when I want – bliss! I already have a few books in mind, but I may change my mind on a whim:

On my possible list are:

The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths

Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick

Twisted Wing by Ruth Newman

A Mary Higgins Clark (dunno which one)

The Tapestry of Love by Rosy Thornton

Changeless by Gail Carriger

 

Or maybe not…..

 

What are your reading plans for this month?

 

Half Year Review

Instead of the normal end of month review I have decided to do a half year review this time as I have now been blogging for 6 months so this is a bit of a milestone for me.

  January
1) Invisible I (The Amanda Project) by Stella Larson
2) The Diaries of Adam and Eve by Mark Twain
3) The Cradle Will Fall by Mary Higgins Clark
4) Soulless by Gail Carriger
5) Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin
6) Corrag by Susan Fletcher
7) Shakespeare’s Truth by Rex Richards
 

February
8) Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa
9) The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
10) All Pets Go To Heaven by Sylvia Browne
 
March
11) The Hanging Valley by Peter Robinson
12) Far From The Land by Thomas J Rice
13) You Belong to Me by Mary Higgins Clark
14) In a Dry Season by Peter Robinson
15) East Lynne by Ellen Wood
16) The Snowman by Jo Nesbo
17) The Victorian Chaise-Longue by Marhganita Laski
18) Let me Call You Sweetheart by Mary Higgins Clark
 
April
19)Blueeyedboy by Joanne Harris
20) A Woman’s Life by Guy de Maupassant
21) Moonlight Becomes You by Mary Higgins Clark
22) Retribution by Jilliane Hoffman
23) Fever of the Bone by Val McDermid
24) Part of the Furniture by Mary Wesley
25) Say Goodbye by Lisa Gardner
 
May
26) The Little Boy Lost by Marghanisa Laski
27) Sunlight on Cold Water by Francoise Sagan
28) North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
29) The Second Time Around by Mary Higgins Clark
30) The Shadow of Your Smile by Mary Higgins Clark
31) The Land of the Living by Nicci French
32) The Japanese Lover by Rani Manicka
33) Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
34) The Camomile Lawn by Mary Wesely
 
June 
35) Day and Night by Anita Diamant
36) Caedmon’s Song by Peter Robinson
37) The Help by Kathryn Stockett
38) Caught by Harlan Coben
39) The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill
40) The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf
41) True Things About Me by Deborah Kay Davies
42) The Weight of Water by Penelope Evans
 

Most looked at book reviews

Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa

Blueeyedboy by Joanne Harris

The Shopaholic Series by Sophie Kinsella

 

The most looked at Author Interviews  

Gail Carriger (author of Souless, Changeless & Blameless)

Becca Fitzpatrick (author of Hush Hush and Crescendo)

Kathryn Stockett (author of The Help)

 

The most looked at general posts

The Best Book Club Reads EVER!!!

Guilty as charged, Mi’ Lord!

Can you spot the difference?

 

My favourite books in the last 6 months

This was so hard to do! I have read quite a lot of great books so far this year and I have loved them for different reasons. After much deliberation and trying to pick 3 from different genres (literary, classics, crime/thriller) I have come up with the following. All three were amazing and I can highly recommend them all:

Corrag - Susan Fletcher

Corrag by Susan Fletcher

East Lynne - Ellen Wood

East Lynne by Ellen Wood

The Snowman - Jo Nesbo

The Snowman by Jo Nesbo

 

What have beenyour favourite books so far this year?

 

Month in Review: May 2010

Bluebells in May

The Month of May

Some facts about the month of May:

May’s gemstone: Emerald

May’s flower: Lilly of the Valley

May is named after the Greek godess, Maia. The month is a time of great celebrations in the northern hemisphere as it is a time when flowers emerge and crops begin to sprout.

The Anglo-Saxon (old English) name for May was Tri-Milchi in recognition of the fact that with the lush new grass the cows could be mikled three times per day. It was first called May in about 1430.

I love May as the days become warmer, the evenings longer and it finally starts to feel like summer is on its way. People seem a little more carefree and eveything is so beautiful: bluebells, rhodedendruns, rape seed oil (the bright yellow fields that look so sunny!).

 

Books I have read in May 2010

Little by Lost by Marghanita Laski

Sunlight on Cold Water by Francoise Sagan

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

The Second Time Around by Mary Higgins Clark

The Shadow of Your Smile by Mary Higgins Clark

Land of the Living by Nicci French

The Japanese Lover by Rani Manicka

Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw (review to follow)

 

Author interview in May 2010

My favourite lady:

Mary Higgins Clark

 

What were your favourite posts?

In May, the most looked at book reviews were:

1) Mornings In Jenin by Susan Abulhawa (for the 3rd month in a row and it is also the most viewed book review of all since this blog started)

 2) Little Boy Lost by Marghanita Laski

3) North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

 

The most looked at posts (non- book review) were:

1) Guilty As Charged, Mi’ Lord!

2) The Best 11 Book Club Reads….EVER!

3) Curl Up With….Enid Blyton

 

So, on to the month of June. Happy reading everyone! :o)

April 2010 Round Up

Spring has arrived

At least I thought it had until this weekend! So what has gone on Chez Book Whisperer this April?

My new job started and despite feeling run ragged and having so much to learn and take in and being up and down the UK motorway links or on trains for half the week means that I am in dream-land the minute my head hits the pillow on a night, I am really enjoying it.

Book-wize, I’ve been a head cheerleader in my first read-a-thon, I’ve signed up to Audible.com and been listening to books on my iPod when I’m too tired to hold a book in my hands (genius!), I’ve won a poetry competition and won Robin Maxwell’s new book (signed) and the most gorgeous Italian leather journal which I intend to write more poetry in (the standard of said poetry may be rather quesitonable but at least it turns out that I really quite enjoy it), I’ve won several more books in competitions (more details later), two tickets to a Vintage Books day at Floyles in London which I will combine with my first UK book bloggers meet-up in London next week! Phew!!

 

Top Posts in April

So, what were people reading on The Book Whisperer this month?

The most read book reviews were:

Blueeyedboy by Joanne Harris and Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa.

The most read non-review posts were:

In at number 1 was The Best 11 Book Club Books EVER!!  This was followed by I’m Freaking Out! (it turns out that I am not the only person who gets the booky-shakes from time to time).

The most read Author Interview was:

Gail Carriger (author of the Parasol Protectorate series).

 

Books I read in April

Blueeyedboy by Joanne Harris

A Woman’s Life by Guy de Maupassant

Moonlight Becomes You by Mary Higgins Clark

Retribution by Jilliane Hoffman

Fever of the Bone by Val McDermid

Part of the Furniture by Mary Wesley

Say Goodbye by Lisa Gardner

Out of these books my favourites were Part of the Furniture by Mary Wesley and Retribution by Jilliane Hoffman. Brilliant!

 

What have been your favourite books of April?

 

 

Month in View: March 2010

What a long month March has seemed to be for me. I have been made redundant, got another job, had two bookish friends staying with me and exploring my home county of Yorkshire with them, we’ve had friends over for get-togethers, I’ve had a pampering day in the spa, the parents-in-law staying with us, done several 6-10 mile hikes in the countryside, one trip to the Doctors, one trip to the Hospital……..and all this in one month!

Despite my busy month I also, more importantly, managed to read 8 books! But first some facts about my booksish March:

Most popular posts

The two most popular posts (almost tying for first place) were the two Boof’s Whispererings posts. These also got the most comments.

The top Book Reviews were (again tying for first place) You Belong to Me by Mary Higgins Clark and Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa.

The most viewed author interview was with Becca Fitzpatrick , author of Hush Hush again (this has won every month so far).

The Book Whisperer blog

I am really chuffed about this as I only strated this book in Mid-December 2009 and already in 3 ½ months I have had over 7,000 hits on my blog. I am so pleased as this means that people are reading and sharing in my passion of books. This isn’t a money-generating blog and it’s not my job, it’s something I do because of my love and passion for the printed word and sharing that with like-minded people is what drives me to do this. Thanks to everyone who is a regular reader and those who just pop by. I love seeing you on here 🙂

So what did I read?

I read the following books in March:

The Hanging Valley by Peter Robinson
Far From The Land by Thomas J Rice
You Belong to Me by Mary Higgins Clark
In a Dry Season by Peter Robinson
East Lynne by Ellen Wood
The Snowman by Jo Nesbo
The Victorian Chaise-Longue by Marhganita Laski
Let me Call You Sweetheart by Mary Higgins Clark

What was my favourite?

I have to say East Lynne – I absolutely adored that book and it shot into my Top 20 of all time. A close second is The Snowman as that was such a gripping, fast-paced crime novel and I loved it!

Summay

I’ve had a great month doing the thing I love the most – reading – and discovered some truly great books. So on to April….