Stacking Shelves: 17th June, 2016

STSsmallThis week, for the first time, I am 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.

For me this week, they were all virtual….

First up is Buried Secrets by Lisa Cutts, which I jumped at requesting after recently reading Mercy Killing and really enjoying it…I have high hopes for this one.

35227796To most people, Detective Inspector Milton Bowman appears to have an ideal life. But some secrets aren’t buried deep enough.

After a tragic car accident, and a shocking murder, DI Milton’s colleagues have to start digging into every aspect of his life.

Suspicion and disbelief creep into their lives as a web of deceit unfolds – the Bowman family, friends and even colleagues come under suspicion. No one is to be trusted.

Nothing is as it appears.

Find on: Amazon UK / US / Goodreads

I bought two books, both deals on Amazon (my favourite thing).  First was the monthly deal, which gets good reviews and sounds right up my streets…

33128934Gina Royal is the definition of average—a shy Midwestern housewife with a happy marriage and two adorable children. But when a car accident reveals her husband’s secret life as a serial killer, she must remake herself as Gwen Proctor—the ultimate warrior mom.

With her ex now in prison, Gwen has finally found refuge in a new home on remote Stillhouse Lake. Though still the target of stalkers and Internet trolls who think she had something to do with her husband’s crimes, Gwen dares to think her kids can finally grow up in peace.

But just when she’s starting to feel at ease in her new identity, a body turns up in the lake—and threatening letters start arriving from an all-too-familiar address. Gwen Proctor must keep friends close and enemies at bay to avoid being exposed—or watch her kids fall victim to a killer who takes pleasure in tormenting her. One thing is certain: she’s learned how to fight evil. And she’ll never stop

Find on: Amazon UK / US / Goodreads

Second was a book I have meant to buy for ages but not gotten round to (meaning I’m now behind in what is supposed to be a very good series)…

29997926When catching a killer isn’t enough…

When the naked, battered body of an unidentified teenager is found dumped in an alleyway, post-mortem finds evidence of a harrowing series of events.

Another teenage death with the same MO pushes DI Hannah Robbins and her team on the Nottingham City division Major Crimes Unit, to their limits, and across county borders. In a race against the clock they attempt to unpick a thick web of lies and deceit to uncover the truth behind the deaths.

But it doesn’t stop there. Just how far are the team willing to push themselves to save the next girl?

Find on: Amazon UK / US / Goodreads

Finally I had a book come through from the library that had been on hold for a while…

32991958My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:

1. I’m in a coma.
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.
3. Sometimes I lie.

Find on: Amazon UK / US / Goodreads

Not much to go on for this one is there?  I don’t remember much about it myself either so I’m hoping that it was worth the wait (it seems to be have been on hold at the library forever!).  Does it grab your eye?  What about the others – have you read them or would you based on the blurbs?

Fingers crossed I enjoy!

Emma x



What I’m Reading this Week: 21st June, 2015

Morning All! I hope you are having a good weekend and Happy Father’s Day to the dads out there. We’ll be celebrating by going to a local carnival – at least we will if the weather holds out (the sky is currently full of clouds in my part of the world). If not, who knows, maybe movies and popcorn? If I have chance, I’ll get some reading done, finishing Without You by Saskia Sarginson, which I’m really enjoying.


1984 – Suffolk, England. When 17-year-old Eva goes missing at sea, everyone presumes that she drowned. Her parents’ relationship is falling apart, undermined by guilt and grief. But her younger sister, Faith, refuses to consider a life without Eva; she’s determined to find her sister and bring her home alive. Close to the shore looms the shape of an island — out of bounds, mysterious, and dotted with windowless concrete huts. What nobody knows is that inside one of the huts Eva is being held captive. That she is fighting to survive — and return home…

I’m not sure what I’ll read after that. I’ve still got a pile of books from last week’s trip to the library and I’ve added a few more to the Kindle, including:

The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer


Carmel has always been different. Carmel’s mother, Beth, newly single, worries about her daughter’s strangeness, especially as she is trying to rebuild a life for the two of them on her own. When she takes eight year-old Carmel to a local children’s festival, her worst fear is realised: Carmel disappears. Unable to accept the possibility that her daughter might be gone for good, Beth embarks on a mission to find her. Meanwhile, Carmel begins an extraordinary and terrifying journey of her own, with a man who believes she is a saviour.

Silent Scream by Angela Marsons


Five figures gather round a shallow grave. They had all taken turns to dig. An adult-sized hole would have taken longer. An innocent life had been taken but the pact had been made. Their secrets would be buried, bound in blood…

I’ve also downloaded a copy of Utopia by Thomas More which I am slightly dreading but keep telling myself it should be o.k. because it’s only 183 pages.

First published in 1516, Thomas More’s Utopia is one of the most important works of European humanism. Through the voice of the mysterious traveler Raphael Hythloday, More describes a pagan, communist city-state governed by reason. Addressing such issues as religious pluralism, women’s rights, state-sponsored education, colonialism, and justified warfare, Utopia seems remarkably contemporary nearly five centuries after it was written, and it remains a foundational text in philosophy and political theory.

This is for a short course I’m starting at the end of the month through Future Learn on Literature of the English Country. I love taking these courses, having taken two on Hamlet so far, and learn a lot. They do take a bit of commitment but it’s worth it. For this one, the course will be “tracing the history of country house literature from the sixteenth and seventeenth-century poetry and drama of Thomas More and Margaret Cavendish, through the polite satire and sociability of the eighteenth-century, the Gothic terror and intrigue of Ann Radcliffe and Charles Dickens, all the way through to the dawn of the twentieth century and the wit of Oscar Wilde.”

And that’s it for this week. What about you, what are you reading?


This week, I’m linking in with Kimberly at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer and her Sunday Post. Head over to see what other bloggers have read, written about or just added to their shelves.

The Sunday Post

What I’m Reading This Week: 14th June, 2016

So, I have to say last week (well this week as I’m writing on a Sunday not Monday as I normally do) didn’t go as well as planned reading wise. I had a master plan of listening versus reading to my book choices because I was away for the first part of the week and had six train journeys in my future. This way I could work and do something I actually enjoyed at the same time. Unfortunately, I forgot my headphones…meaning no listening at all to distract me from some mind-numbing spreadsheets.

Thankfully, I had taken a book with me so not all was lost. The book was Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro, a collection of short stories.  I picked it because I had really liked Lives of Girls and Women, which I’d read back in April.


A young wife and mother receives release from the unbearable pain of losing her children from a most surprising source. In the aftermath of an unusual, humiliating seduction, a young woman reacts in a clever if less-than-admirable way. Other stories uncover the “deep holes” in a marriage and their consequences, the unsuspected cruelty of children, and how a boy’s disfigured face molds his fate. And in the long title story, we accompany Sonia Kovalevsky—a late-nineteenth-century Russian émigré and mathematician—on a winter journey that takes her from the Riviera, where she visits her lover, to Paris, Germany, and the Danish Isles, where she has a fateful meeting with a local doctor, and finally to Sweden, where she teaches at the only university in Europe willing to employ a female mathematician.

Too Much Happiness is from the library and was part of a great haul.


Without You by Saskia Sarginson: When 17-year-old Eva goes missing at sea, everyone presumes that she tragically drowned. Her parents’ relationship starts to fall apart, undermined by guilt and grief. But her younger sister, Faith, refuses to consider a life without Eva; she’s determined to bring her sister home alive.

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters: It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned; the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa — a large, silent house now bereft of brothers, husband, and even servants — life is about to be transformed as impoverished widow Mrs. Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers.

The Boy Who Could See Death by Salley Vickers: Eli is an ordinary boy with an extraordinary gift. It will shape the course of his whole life but, he learns the hard way, he must keep it hidden from those who know him best. Seeing death is a mixed blessing. 

All The Little Pieces by Jilliane Hoffman: She could have stopped an awful crime. She could have saved a life. She tried to forget about it. But now, the truth is out.

How To Be Both by Ali Smith: How to be both is a novel all about art’s versatility. Borrowing from painting’s fresco technique to make an original literary double-take, it’s a fast-moving genre-bending conversation between forms, times, truths and fictions. There’s a Renaissance artist of the 1460s. There’s the child of a child of the 1960s. Two tales of love and injustice twist into a singular yarn where time gets timeless, structural gets playful, knowing gets mysterious, fictional gets real—and all life’s givens get given a second chance.

Tucked in amongst the pile is The Other Child by Lucy Atkins, which I won in a Goodread giveaway.  I never win anything so a rather chuffed to have received it.

Sometimes a lie seems kinder than the truth … but what happens when that lie destroys everything you love?.

When Tess is sent to photograph Greg, a high profile paediatric heart surgeon, she sees something troubled in his face, and feels instantly drawn to him. Their relationship quickly deepens, but then Tess, single mother to nine-year-old Joe, falls pregnant, and Greg is offered the job of a lifetime back in his hometown of Boston. Before she knows it, Tess is married, and relocating to the States. But life in an affluent American suburb proves anything but straightforward.

Unsettling things keep happening in the large rented house. Joe is distressed, the next-door neighbours are in crisis, and Tess is sure that someone is watching her. Greg’s work is all-consuming and, as the baby’s birth looms, he grows more and more unreachable. Something is very wrong, Tess knows it, and then she makes a jaw-dropping discovery…

I’m not sure which ones I’ll read first because they have all been on my to-read list and all sound good, which makes this post not so much a what I’m reading but what should I read?  Any suggestions? What about you, what are you reading?


This week, I’m linking in with Kimberly at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer and her Sunday Post. Head over to see what other bloggers have read, written about or just added to their shelves.

The Sunday Post

What I’m Reading This Week: 8th June 2015

Happy Monday everyone- I hope you had a good weekend. Mine was full of sunshine, family, and time in the garden – lovely. I’m hoping for more sun this week, even though I will be spending a lot of time on the road. Because of this, I’ll be audio booking it this week.

First up is Forensics by Val McDermid


The dead talk. To the right listener, they tell us all about themselves: where they came from, how they lived, how they died – and who killed them. Forensic scientists can use a corpse, the scene of a crime or a single hair to unlock the secrets of the past and allow justice to be done.

Bestselling crime author Val McDermid will draw on interviews with top-level professionals to delve, in her own inimitable style, into the questions and mysteries that surround this fascinating science. How is evidence collected from a brutal crime scene? What happens at an autopsy? What techniques, from blood spatter and DNA analysis to entomology, do such experts use? How far can we trust forensic evidence?

Looking at famous murder cases, as well as investigations into the living – sexual assaults, missing persons, mistaken identity – she will lay bare the secrets of forensics from the courts of seventeenth-century Europe through Jack the Ripper to the cutting-edge science of the modern day.

I’ve heard good things about this and am looking forward to finding out just how realistic some of my favourite crime novels are.

I’m following it up with The Smell of Almonds by Camilla Lackberg, an author I’ve only recently discovered.

It’s less than a week until Christmas and policeman Martin Mohlin is begrudgingly accompanying his girlfriend to a family reunion on the tiny island of Valön outside of Fjällbacka. The connection to the mainland is cut off by a snowstorm and when the domineering patriarch Ruben collapses during Christmas dinner, Martin is forced to intervene. He soon establishes that Ruben was murdered and since they are completely isolated on the island, one of the family members must be murderer…

This is a novella so shouldn’t be too long.

In between time I’ll be finishing off Thomas Hardy from last week. What about you? What are you reading?


What I’m Reading This Week: 1st June, 2015

Afternoon all – a belated welcome to the start of the week.  After not reading anything other than guidebooks last week, I’m really looking forward to picking up a book again.  First up, and keeping my promise to catch up on my Classic Club list is The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy, which is a re-read of the first book by Hardy I ever read and I have really fond memories of – plus, this time, I won’t be stressing about having to write an essay at the end (because I read it for school).


Tempestuous Eustacia Vye passes her days dreaming of passionate love and the escape it may bring from the small community of Egdon Heath. Hearing that Clym Yeobright is to return from Paris, she sets her heart on marrying him, believing that through him she can leave rural life and find fulfilment elsewhere. But she is to be disappointed, for Clym has dreams of his own, and they have little in common with Eustacia’s. Their unhappy marriage causes havoc in the lives of those close to them, in particular Damon Wildeve, Eustacia’s former lover, Clym’s mother and his cousin Thomasin.

I plan on following it up with The Good Girl by Mary Kubica, which has been on my Kindle and to read list for a while.


One night, Mia Dennett enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend, but when he doesn’t show up, she leaves with an enigmatic stranger. At first Colin Thatcher seems like a safe one-night stand, but following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia’s life.

Two books a week is a good number for me so that will be all for this week.  Have you read either – what did you think?


What I’m Reading This Week

Morning! A slightly belated post for what I’m reading this week because I managed to forgot to hit publish yesterday (it was one of those days!).

I was possibly a little in shock because I had reached my Bout of Books goal of three books, two of which were even on my planned to read list. The book I didn’t get to, The Moth by James Sallis, I’ll be starting this week.


Lew Griffin has quit the detective business and withdrawn to the safety of his old home in New Orleans’ Garden District, where he copes with his past by transforming it into fiction. Following the death of a close friend, he returns to the streets– not only the urban ones he has conquered but also those of the rural South that he escaped long ago– to search for the runaway daughter he didn’t know that his friend had. Griffin discovers that we rarely know anyone, even those closest to us. And he now finds that he must also face two things he most fears: memories of his parents and his own relationship with his now-vanished son.

Because I read all ebooks last week though I’m going to start with one made of paper.  Claire DeWitt and the Bohemian Highway has been on my shelves for over a month and, as I’ve just had to renew it at the library, I think it’s time to crack the spine. It sounds like a fun read.



When Paul Casablancas, Claire DeWitt’s musician ex-boyfriend, is found dead in his home in San Francisco’s Mission District, the police are convinced it’s a simple robbery.But, as Claire knows, nothing is ever simple. With the help of her new assistant Claude, Claire follows the clues, finding possible leads to Paul’s fate in other cases – a long-ago missing girl and a modern-day miniature horse theft in Marin. As visions of the past reveal the secrets of the present, Claire begins to understand the words of the enigmatic French detective Jacques Silette: ‘The detective won’t know what he is capable of until he encounters a mystery that pierces his own heart.’

And that’s it for this week – what are your reading plans?


What I’m Reading This Week: 11th May, 2015

As today is the start of Bout of Books, I am a woman on a mission this week to read, read, read. Which means something will probably come up and I’ll get nothing read. Still, here are the books I think I might attempt…

Insurgent by Veronica Roth (because I finally read Divergent and really enjoyed it)

11735983One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves – and herself – while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love. Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable – and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

Moth by James Sallis (because Sallis is one of my favourite authors)

14436807Lew Griffin has quit the detective business and withdrawn to the safety of his old home in New Orleans’ Garden District, where he copes with his past by transforming it into fiction. Following the death of a close friend, he returns to the streets– not only the urban ones he has conquered but also those of the rural South that he escaped long ago– to search for the runaway daughter he didn’t know that his friend had. Griffin discovers that we rarely know anyone, even those closest to us. And he now finds that he must also face two things he most fears: memories of his parents and his own relationship with his now-vanished son.

The World Before Us by Aislinn Hunter (because I meant to read this the other week but didn’t get round to)

22716411Deep in the woods of northern England, somewhere between a dilapidated estate and an abandoned Victorian asylum, fifteen-year-old Jane Standen lived through a nightmare. She was babysitting a sweet young girl named Lily, and in one fleeting moment, lost her. The little girl was never found, leaving her family and Jane devastated. Twenty years later, Jane is an archivist at a small London museum that is about to close for lack of funding. As a final research project–an endeavor inspired in part by her painful past–Jane surveys the archives for information related to another missing person: a woman who disappeared more than one hundred years ago in the same woods where Lily was lost. As Jane pieces moments in history together, a portrait of a fascinating group of people starts to unfurl. Inexplicably tied to the mysterious disappearance of long ago, Jane finds tender details of their lives at the country estate and in the asylum that are linked to her own heartbroken world, and their story from all those years ago may now help Jane find a way to move on.

My goal is three books and I hope it will be these three.  Have you read any of them – am I in for a good week of reading?

Happy reading!


Reading Update

With so many books to chose from last week, no “what I’m reading” post from me this week as such but a bit of an update as to how far through the pile I made it – which was not as much as I’d hoped but better than I seem to have done for a while.


I started with Lives of Girls and Women by Alice Munro, which I really enjoyed, and am almost through Before We Met by Lucie Whitehouse.  Reviews will hopefully follow later this week. Next up is Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey:


Maud, an aging grandmother, is slowly losing her memory—and her grip on everyday life. Yet she refuses to forget her best friend Elizabeth, whom she is convinced is missing and in terrible danger.  But no one will listen to Maud—not her frustrated daughter, Helen, not her caretakers, not the police, and especially not Elizabeth’s mercurial son, Peter. Armed with handwritten notes she leaves for herself and an overwhelming feeling that Elizabeth needs her help, Maud resolves to discover the truth and save her beloved friend.

I’ve heard some good things about this book, including a review today by Ali at Heaven Ali which made me want to read it more.  Fingers crossed it’s a good one.

And that’s it for now.  What about you – reading anything good?


What I’m Reading this Week: 6th April, 2015

Morning all. I do love a long weekend. There is something so nice about waking up a little late on what would normally be a work day. It’s also nice because I was off most of last week and this is a lovely bonus day.  With being off last week, I got a lot more reading done than I thought I would and also more blog posts written than planned (if only it could last but back at work tomorrow *sigh*). That also means that, something that rarely happens, I’m starting off the week with no book in progress.  And no idea what to read, although I have a few choices because I picked a number of books up at the library last week when I went to get Station Eleven.


Books on the pile are:

The Hive by Gill Hornby

Lives of Girls and Women by Alice Munro

Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey

Clare dewitt and the bohemian highway by Sara Gran

Before We Met by Lucie Whitehouse

(Links are to Good Reads)

What do you think? Have you read any of these? Where should I start?


p.s. As usual I’m linking in with Sheila at Book Journey for “It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?”

What I’m Reading This Week: 30th March, 2015

Morning all and welcome to another Monday. I’m quite looking forward to this one as it’s half term so I’m off work and, if the weather man is right, we might get to see some sunshine. What we’ll be up to I’m not sure but it will involve tidying my house after I decided it was a good idea to host a birthday party for my little girl this weekend – at home. It was a lot of fun but I have a small house and, after 10 kids descended, it still looks like a whirlwind went through it!

When, I’m not tidying I hope to read…

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. I have been waiting for this to be available at the library for what seems like forever after reading some great reviews. Of course, nearly every time I have high hopes for a book, I end up disappointed but hopefully not this time!

One snowy night Arthur Leander, a famous actor, has a heart attack onstage during a production of King Lear. Jeevan Chaudhary, a paparazzo-turned-EMT, is in the audience and leaps to his aid. A child actress named Kirsten Raymonde watches in horror as Jeevan performs CPR, pumping Arthur’s chest as the curtain drops, but Arthur is dead. That same night, as Jeevan walks home from the theater, a terrible flu begins to spread. Hospitals are flooded and Jeevan and his brother barricade themselves inside an apartment, watching out the window as cars clog the highways, gunshots ring out, and life disintegrates around them.

Fifteen years later, Kirsten is an actress with the Traveling Symphony. Together, this small troupe moves between the settlements of an altered world, performing Shakespeare and music for scattered communities of survivors. Written on their caravan, and tattooed on Kirsten’s arm is a line from Star Trek: “Because survival is insufficient.” But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who digs graves for anyone who dares to leave. 

The Detectives Secret by Lesley Thomson. This is the third in a series of novels and I’ve enjoyed the other two so fingers crossed here. Also, after taking a bit of a break from crime fiction, I’m looking forward to a bit of murder and mayhem again.

October 1987: as a hurricane sweeps through Britain, a man’s body slowly rots, locked inside an old water tower in west London. He carries no identification and fits no missing persons’ description. His corpse is never claimed.

October 2013: the month of the great storm of St Jude. A man dies beneath a late night Piccadilly line train. His brother insists he was murdered, but Jack, a train driver, is sure it was suicide.

Jack and Stella uncover the secrets of the case – but Jack is carrying a secret of his own…

If there is time, I am also planning on revisiting a couple of books including The Wasp Factory and Swallows and Amazons but we’ll see. What are you reading?

Emma X

p.s. As usual I’m linking in with Sheila at Book Journey for “It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?”