Lovely Additions

Lovely Additions

Posted in Lovely Additions, Proofs on February 11th, 2014 by admin – 2 Comments



A few interesting new arrivals on the book front recently – 2 from the library, 1 competition win, 1 purchased, 1 requested review book and 4 unsolicited review books.  Clicking on the covers will take  you to their Amazon Affliate Link.

I don’t like the word diet as it conjures up visions of torture and faddish ways to lose weight.  I’ve never dieted in my life but for the past 6 months or so I have been trying to eat more healthily.  A blood test in June revealed raised cholesterol so I decided to cut down on the cheese (my nemesis!) and be a bit more active.  I’ve lost 10lbs so far and am no longer overweight but I bought The Hairy Dieters book as it came highly recommended by friends especially as it contains meals which all the family, even my fussy bunch, will enjoy.  I’ve reserved their first book How to Love Food and Lose Weight at the library.  There’s a queue of 9 ahead of me but I have plenty of food for thought in the meantime… By the way, the weight loss hasn’t improved the raised cholesterol so a new exercise regime is the next step – wonder if I can run and read simultaneously…


Kill or Cure was a win in a competition organised by We Love This Book.  It has proven a big hit with the all the family, particularly the more gruesome parts, of the book, not the family!   Detailing the history of medicine from prehistory to modern times, this is one for dipping into and may well provide useful in the healthy eating regime…as in inducing  loss of appetite.


The Cleaner of Chartres will be a re-read this month as it is our library book group’s choice for February.  With less funding for libraries and limited stock, it is becoming increasingly difficult for Liz, our librarian, to source enough copies if we recommend a particular title.  I know we could source them ourselves but that defeats the whole purpose of it being a “library” book group.  Soon there will be no books left!  Seriously…

Lean On Pete is another library loan.  My bookish friend Mandy has been raving evangelically about this writer so I really need to get to it.

North of Nowhere is the latest novel from children’s author Liz Kessler.  My daughter Eva loved this author’s previous books so this is one for both of us to read and enjoy.  Apparently this story was inspired by a South Devon village which fell into the sea during stormy weather – ironic considering the horrendous damage the storms are currently wreaking on the Devon and Cornish coasts.

The last batch of four are unsolicited review copies which dropped through the letterbox.  Sometimes these are so wide off the mark for me, even with my eclectic tastes, but these four do appeal in very different ways.  I’ve enjoyed Valerie Martin’s writing style in the past and Byron Easy looks intriguing with The Winter Folly promising to be an entertaining dual time-frame story.  When I was Young isn’t really singing to me at the moment, I sense saga vibes coming off it!

Wondering now if I should choose my next read according to the weather today but then they’ve forecast amber alerts for gales, rain and possible snow – enough to make an indecisive Libran doolally!

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Lovely Additions 4th May 2010

Posted in Lovely Additions on May 4th, 2010 by admin – 7 Comments

Some lovely new arrivals recently.  Two reservations from the library Hotel on the Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford and Florence and Giles by John Harding.  It always surprises me when I request books and when they arrive at my branch I discover that no-one else has even borrowed them before – think of all those lovely books languishing on library shelves – madness!

Four wonderful swaps via, The Virago Book of Christmas – well, I like to my bookshelves to be prepared even though nothing else is on time for the festive season.  Witch Child by Celia Rees – I don’t recall having read any Rees before but I think she might write in a similar style to Mary Hooper whose historical YA novels I have loved.  Wild Mary – A Life of Mary Wesley by Patrick Marnham – this swap was encouraged by Clare from Paperback Reader as she had reviewed a Mary Wesley book and rekindled my interest in this writer.  Clare has also been responsible for introducing me to Angela Carter – thank you!  Last of the swaps was Emma Brown by Clare Boylan, I’m intrigued by the Brontes and the fact that this was the completion of a manuscript begun by Charlotte as a couple of chapters makes it even more attractive. 

Two new books to treat myself – just released recently House Rules by Jodi Picoult and Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey.  I am dying to get my eyes on these and hope to get them read, savoured and enjoyed in May.

Finally three books to review from the publishers - The Eye of the Moon by Anonymous.  How could I resist an offer to read this given how much I enjoyed The Book with No Name, yes, I do have extremely eclectic tastes… The White Woman on the Green Bicycle by Monique Roffey, on the shortlist for the Orange Prize this year, which I am currently reading and really enjoying.  I also received The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene to review for New Books Magazine.   I have never actually read any Greene although I somehow seem to know most of his titles as demonstrated at different pub quizzes in the past!

Oops.  a last minute entry, received this morning from a Book Fairy friend, Jan who has very kindly sent me The Wilding by Maria McCann which featured on the Orange Longlist this year.  Thank you. :-)

I think it’s safe to say I have enough there to keep me out of trouble…

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Lovely Additions – 19th April

Posted in Lovely Additions on April 19th, 2010 by admin – 16 Comments

I haven’t updated this in a while and somehow a few books have managed to squeeze their way onto the bookshelves – they can be very sneaky like that…jumping into your shoppping trolley, hopping into your (reusable) bag in charity shops, trotting out of the library…

Four were swaps on , a bookswapping site which I have “frequented” for a few years now - Queen Victoria – Demon Hunter by A E Moorat which is a very different genre for me, Steampunk, but I do like to try new things!  I believe the latest in this series is titled Abraham Lincoln – Vampire Hunter, has got to be fun, n’est-ce pas? My other two swaps were  A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick, of which I have seen varied reviews, Marmite book perhaps.  Thursday’s Child by Sonya Hartnett is described as a slick, psychological thriller for children (a bit of contradiction in terms??).  This will be my first read by this Australian author for Young Adults who claims not to write for Young Adults but for herself.  I think I’ll like it anyway!  Last of the swaps was At the House of the Magician by Mary Hooper, another children’s writer, this one being another example of her engaging historical fiction, probably not suitable for those who like their history detailed and exact but ideal for a Philistine like me!

I purchased 3 books, Edith Nesbit – A Woman of Passion by Julia Briggs from Amazon.  Do you ever get those urges to simply have to get a book straightaway when you hear about it?  Guilty as charged…for one reason or another, E Nesbit has cropped up in a lot of my bookish conversations recently, she was one of my favourite childhood authors and it turns out she was quite a bohemian in her time so I’m really looking forward to this one.  I was a complete numpty and bought The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katharine Howe as I had read and enjoyed The Lost Book of Salem by the same author – ALERT!!!!  ALERT!!!!  it turns out they’re the same book and if I had looked at the very small print at the bottom of the front cover I might have noticed this – doh!!  Why oh why do they do this kind of thing?  Obviously so dumbos like me will buy two copies of the same book…  Another purchase from War on Want was In A Blue Velvet Dress by Catherine Sefton, another children’s book but the blurb just drew me in – Jane is a bookworm.  So when her parents sail off to Scotland, leaving her with the bookless Hildreths, Jane is soon bored.  Then, as if by magic, a book appears on her bedside table…and the next night, another one…But how and from whom?  Who could resist that?

I won a copy of Hell’s Belles by Paul Magrs from Floor to Ceiling Books, thank you Amanda.  I have heard so much about Whitby and how beautiful it is and this is the closest I’m going to get to it for a good while, I reckon.  Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, in a spanking new cover, arrived from Simon and Schuster – I find the whole concept of this novel intriguing given that we’re living in a world where your appearance determines your status to a large degree.  Last but not least, The Year of Fog by  Michelle Richmond which was given to me by Liz, a lovely book fairy friend.  I think this one will resonate with me as it’s about the disappearance of a 6 year old child and I have the impression it doesn’t have a neat, tidy, happy ever after ending – might need the tissues…

So, there you go, tea time already and I’ve waffled on for longer than I intended. 

Have you read any of the above?  Do you have any thoughts on them – negative or positive or just meh? Do you have any bookshelf space left even with books tripled parked???  Au revoir. :-)

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Lovely Additions 30th March 2010

Posted in Lovely Additions on March 30th, 2010 by admin – 6 Comments

I have 3 reviews to do so, rather than do them, I headed out to the hairdressers and had a wander around Oxfam and War on Want bookshops nearby afterwards.  The weather was so miserable, not snow but torrential rain, that I just had to treat myself to a few books…ahem…

I have several wishlists at different locations online but, unlike some of my bookish friends, I don’t bring them with me on book  hunting  jaunts and I tend to hunt down my beloved prey instinctively, going with my gut reaction – can’t you  just picture me now skulking round the shelves, ready to pounce!

So, what did my instincts tell me today…

First to be seized was A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – Betty Smith.  This is one of those books about which I have heard so many good things, yet I’m not sure if I know anyone who has read it.  It will be interesting to see how this Brooklyn compares with Colm Toibin’s version. 

Having found little else to titilate me in Oxfam, I swiftly moved onto my next hunting ground, War On Want – which  had plenty to tempt me.  I had 20 minutes in which to peruse the shelves and make any purchases, it was like the trolley dash in Supermarket Sweep and for my efforts I was rewarded with…

The Magic Toyshop – Angela Carter.  I have Fireworks and Wise Children TBR but haven’t read any Angela Carter yet, my only experiences of her being the film, The Company of Wolves, based on one of her stories.  I must address this lapse very soon.

Cooking With Fernet Branca – James Hamilton-Paterson, the first in the Gerald Samper series.  I first heard of this comic fiction writer via a bookish friend, Charlotte who enjoyed the third in this series, Rancid Pansies.  The latter title intrigued me so much I had to seek out the first in the trilogy.  I have an odd sense of humour at times so I hope I do find this series entertaining.

I also acquired two children’s books for me to read first and then pass on to Luke and Eva, Nevermore – Linda Newberry and Montmorency – Eleanor Updale.  Maybe I’m having some sort of mid-life crisis but I am really enjoying children’s books these days, such a much wider variety of books available these days.

Next in the book bag was Being Emily – Anne Donovan – the jury seems to be out on whether the Scottish dialect has a negative effect on the writing or not – I think I’ll do just fine.

Last but not least, I couldn’t just pass by the table of hardbacks for £1 each, that would have been rude, surely?  So, I am now the proud owner of The Hour I First Believed - Wally Lamb (the only one of my purchases which was actually on my wishlist!).  I really enjoyed She’s Come  Undone, have I  Know this Much is True TBR and, weighing in at 730 pages, this is another weighty tome but one to which I’m really looking forward.  My last hardback was a lovely copy of The Henry Root Letters which I was within touching distance of in a book swap which failed several years ago but now fate has smiled on me and placed it in my eager hands. 

Have you read any of the above, have any opinions on them (positive or negative or just bleh..).  Do you find it easier to resist books than I do?  Do you really want to be cured of book addiction???

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Lovely Additions 24th March

Posted in Lovely Additions on March 24th, 2010 by admin – 6 Comments

I was going to update my lovely additions on a weekly basis but I will lose track unless I list them when a bulk delivery comes in.  We missed a delivery last weekend and it looks like Royal Mail have been dreadful teases and have held onto all my packages for a week!

So here’s a quick update of the latest acquistions…

First and foremost, the one I am most excited about, The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, “a novel for young and youthful readers“.  I thoroughly enjoyed his two adult novels The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel’s Game so this will bridge the gap while I await his next adult offering.  Thank you to Waterstones for this proof copy.

My son Luke was thrilled to see Jungle Kill by Jim Eldridge, another proof from Waterstones, as it features some of his favourite things, guns, SAS, explosions – you get the picture!  As I frequently say, “anything to get them reading”.  He’s starting this today so it will be interesting to see what he makes of it, he’s quite a harsh judge.  We also got Striker – Sudden Death by Nick Hale which might have less immediate appeal as it combines international football, espionage and counter-terrorism.  Luke isn’t very keen on the football element!

I’m not a big fan of  chick-lit so it will be interesting to see what I make of the “random” review book which arrived from WH Smith.  I will always give a book a fair chance so I’ll be reading Living La  Vida Loca, a first novel by Belinda Jones, targeted at women aged 25-34 (I’m ever so slightly out of that category..)  I might be pleasantly surprised.

Two great books have arrived from two wonderful book fairies on , One Moment, One Morning by Sarah Rayne from Annie and The Angel Maker by Stefan Brijs – thank you ladies.  I also received one swap, The Hindi Bindi Club by Monida Pradhan, a rather spur of the moment swap as someone wanted to swap it for two of the children’s books which had been on my swapping pile for yonks.  It looks quite promising.

Finally, phew… a film script of Glorious 39 signed by the writer/director Stephen Poliakoff, a lucky win on Twitter  and I treated myself to a biography, Edith Nesbit – A Woman of Passion by Julia Briggs.  I loved her Psammead Trilogy and Wouldbegoods and Treasure Seekers books as well as The Railway Children, the film of which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.  She seems to have led a very intriguing and, at times, trying life and was not perhaps the Aunt like figure we might have thought her to be.

Well, that should keep me going for a while.  Any thoughts on any of the above?  Which would you like to read or if you have read some of them, what did you think?  All comments much appreciated!

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Lovely Additions – 21st March

Posted in Lovely Additions on March 21st, 2010 by admin – Be the first to comment

Here are this week’s lovely additions to the TBR pile.  There would have been more but we missed delivery of two parcels and a box when we were out seeing Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland – hope they were books anyway!

Firstly I got 4 from the National Trust second hand book shop at Castleward on St Patrick’s Day.  I was very distracted whilst eating our picnic at a table in the courtyard as I could hear all the lovely books calling to me…  The loudest of these were When We Were Bad – Charlotte Mendelson, The Voluptuous Delights of Peanut Butter and Jam – Lauren Liebenberg, Gilead – Marilynne Robinson and Me Talk Pretty One Day – David Sedaris.  None of these are actually on my wishlist but I was inextricably drawn towards them…

I had two swaps (via , Turning Point – Bowering Sivers, from Transita which publishes for mature women, I hope I qualify!  It was actually the author’s name which caught my eye – some are influenced by covers, others by titles/names.  The other swap was Giving Up the Ghost – Hilary Mantel.  I’ve read and enjoyed The Giant O Brien and Beyond Black by the same author although I fell at the first fence when it came to Wolf Hall – I will try again some day.

My last two acquistions were two review copies, The Well and the Mine – Gin Phillips from Bookrabbit (my current read) and Philippa Fisher and the Stone Fairy’s Promise – Liz Kessler, from Waterstones, an uncorrected proof targeted at 8-12 yr old girls which will no doubt be added to Eva’s TBR pile when I’ve reviewed it – her TBR pile is beginning to rival mine!

All in all, a most satisfying week – hopefully there are even nicer things to come when I collect those mysterious parcels from the Royal Mail Delivery Office.

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