Stacking Shelves: 18th November, 2017

STSsmallOnce again, I’m joining in with Tynga at Tynga’s Reviews and Marlene of Reading Reality for Stacking Shelves, where you share the real and virtual books you have added to your shelves in the last week.

Over the last fee weeks, I have been working really hard to catch up on my reviews of ARCs, which I have finally done.  I have nothing overdue (yay!).  Which meant I felt perfectly justified in requested more books from Netgalley this week… 

The Foster Child by Jenny Blackhurst

The Foster ChildWhen Imogen and Dan decide to move back to her childhood home after the death of her mother, it is with the idea of starting a new life after a difficult year, one where Imogen found herself unemployed and suffering from a breakdown.

Unable to find work in London and maintain their lifestyle, a chance to move to a home already paid for seems like a good idea, as does taking a job at a local child protection agency (Imogen is a child psychologist).  If only Imogen could stop feeling full of dread.

The Birthday Girl by Sue Fortin

imageThe Birthday Girl is one of those books that is hard to review because, once you get past the initial idea, there are too many secrets and too many twists and turns – making the risk of spoilers just too great.

So, what can I tell you about it? It starts with an invite, three friends (Carys, Zoe, and Andrea) being invited by a fourth (Joanne) to go away from the weekend to celebrate Joanne’s 40th birthday; as it’s Carys’ too, they can celebrate that as well.

What could sound better? Well, for Carys, pretty much anything as she and Joanne aren’t on the best of terms – though it isn’t clear why at first – and neither, it turns out are Joanne and Andrea. In fact, Zoe, is the only one who seems to be getting along with everyone and excited for the weekend. 

The Last Day of Emily Lindsey by Nic Joseph

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Nightmares are scary things for all of us (well, for me at least, so I’ll project that same response onto anyone reading this), no more so than for Steven, who has been having the same dream for as long as he can remember.  It’s one he can’t explain and can’t shake.  As he grows older, his dreams start to invade his waking hours, becoming visions he can’t control.

Growing up in the foster system, afraid his new parents would “send him back” if he told them how bad it was, he has managed to (mostly) successfully hide what was happening to him from those he loves and those he works with.  Work is especially important as he is a homicide detective – no one wants a crazy policeman do they?

Weekly update: 15th October, 2017

Weekly update

Morning all and welcome to another Sunday – I hope you’ve had a good week. Mine was good, pretty relaxing.  And the sun shone, which was nice to see, even when the days were cold.  I’ve been trying to winterise the garden – taking advantage of the lack of rain – and am pretty much done.  I have maybe a day left so keep your fingers crossed for me that my luck continues!

Other than that, there hasn’t been much going on, which feels kind of nice.  I got a fair bit of reading done, stuck to my plan to not pick up any new books this week (avoiding NetGalley like the plague), and caught up a little on the reviews I was behind on.  I should be completely caught up by the end of next week if I can keep the reading rate up but we’ll see.

This meant last week I got three reviews posted…

It was nice to have three so different books as well.  Lie to Me by J. T. Ellison is a psychological thriller, so right up my usual reading street.  It was a good read, keeping me guessing right to the end as to just what was happening.  It had a bit of a sense of humour too, which you don’t normally find in this type of book, and I liked that.

The Flexible Vegetarian by Jo Pratt is a cookbook (probably obvious but I like to be clear), one that shows you how to make meatless meat with meat if needed to meet the needs of a variety of tastes.  It worked well in my house where I’m the sole veggie.  I made two recipes from it, one of which I can safely say was one of the best soups I have ever eaten – making the book a winner for me!

Queens of the Conquest by Alison Weir is the first of four books looking at the Queens of England / Britain.  This one focuses on medieval queens – a lot of whom (all?) seem to be called Matilda.  I found the fact that so many of them had the same name but other than that really enjoyed this book, which was well research, well written, and shed light on a group of women I knew very little about but whose actions helped shape my country.

And that was it post wise, other than sharing my most recent read in the Tuesday Intro: The Fall of Lisa Bellow by Susan Perabo.

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And that’s it for me this week.  How about you – how was your week, reading and otherwise?  Let me know, I’m nosey!

Emma x

This week, I’m linking in with Kimba at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer and her Sunday Post and with Katherine at Book Date for It’s Monday, What Are you Reading? Head over by clicking on their badges below to see what other bloggers have read, written about or just added to their shelves.

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Lie to Me by J. T. Ellison

Lie to MeWhen Ethan Montclair wakes up one morning to find a note from his wife Sutton saying that she is leaving and for him not to look for her, he swings from disbelief to anger to fear – for her (she has been suffering from depression) and for him (what will people think?).

He calls round her friends then a lawyer before finally calling the police, who immediately start to question Ethan’s version of his supposedly perfect life – especially when Sutton’s friends suggest that things were not quite as good as they might have seemed.

As the questions start to mount up the lies start to unravelling.  The friends were right and Ethan slowly begins to reveal the truth – or at least his version of it.  And that is what makes this book so good.  Nothing is as it seems – no one is who them seem.  For a woman (me) who likes an unreliable narrator, this book is a perfect fit.

The Pocket Wife by Susan H. Crawford

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Dana Catrell is horrified to learn she was the last person to see her neighbor Celia alive. Suffering from a devastating mania, a result of her bipolar disorder, Dana finds that there are troubling holes in her memory, including what happened on the afternoon of Celia’s death. As evidence starts to point in her direction, Dana struggles to clear her name before her own demons win out.

Is murder on her mind—or is it all in her head?

The closer she comes to piecing together shards of her broken memory, the more Dana falls apart. Is there a murderer lurking inside her… or is there one out there in the shadows of reality, waiting to strike again?

I remember seeing The Pocket Wife everywhere for a while a year or so ago and thinking it was a book I wouldn’t mind reading.  But, somehow, it never went further than that until I saw it at the library a few weeks ago – at which point I picked it up, without much thought or, if I’m honest much in the way of expectations.

In fact, if people hadn’t started saying how much they enjoyed it when I posted a picture of my library haul I may well have ended up taking it back unread as other books I had picked up that day were definitely higher up my to read list.  If I had, then I would have been missing out on something because people were right – this was a really good book and I really enjoyed it.