Book Bridgr

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October 2016 – Book Bridgr/NetGalley/Kindle/ARC Month

Published October 2, 2016 by bibliobeth

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It’s time for another one of those months where I try and get on top of all my review copies from Book Bridgr, NetGalley and author requests! I’m getting there slowly but surely (thanks in part to my new mini reviews feature) and here’s what I’ll be dipping into during the month of October.

Nunslinger (The Complete Series) – Stark Holborn

(copy provided by Book Bridgr)

A Boy Made Of Blocks – Keith Stuart

(copy provided by NetGalley)

The Children Act – Ian McEwan

(copy on kindle)

Untitled – Anonymous

(copy provided from Hodder Books)

Six Tudor Queens: Katherine Of Aragon, The True Queen – Alison Weir

(copy provided by Book Bridgr)

The Color Of Home – Rich Marcello

(copy provided by NetGalley)

 The Chimes – Anna Smaill

(copy on kindle)

Written In Hell – Jason Helford

(copy provided by publisher/author)

Tastes Like Fear – Sarah Hilary

(copy provided by Book Bridgr)

Why Are You So Sad? – Jason Porter

(copy provided by NetGalley)

Mini Pin-It Reviews #2 – Four Books From Book Bridgr

Published September 6, 2016 by bibliobeth

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Hello everyone and welcome to the second of my Mini pin-It Reviews. This time I’ll be focusing on four books that I received a while ago from the lovely folks at Book Bridgr. Hope you enjoy!

1.) This Is The Water by Yannick Murphy

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What’s it all about?:

From Yannick Murphy, award-winning author of The Call, comes a fast-paced story of murder, adultery, parenthood, and romance, involving a girls’ swim team, their morally flawed parents, and a killer who swims in their midst

In a quiet New England community members of the swim team and their dedicated parents are preparing for a home meet. The most that Annie, a swim-mom of two girls, has to worry about is whether or not she fed her daughters enough carbs the night before; why her husband, Thomas, hasn’t kissed her in ages; and why she can’t get over the loss of her brother who shot himself a few years ago. But Annie’s world is about to change. From the bleachers, looking down at the swimmers, a dark haired man watches a girl. No one notices him. Annie is busy getting to know Paul, who flirts with Annie despite the fact that he’s married to her friend Chris, and despite Annie’s greying hair and crow’s feet. Chris is busy trying to discover whether or not Paul is really having an affair, and the swimmers are trying to shave milliseconds off their race times by squeezing themselves into skin-tight bathing suits and visualizing themselves winning their races.

But when a girl on the team is murdered at a nearby highway rest stop-the same rest stop where Paul made a gruesome discovery years ago-the parents suddenly find themselves adrift. Paul turns to Annie for comfort. Annie finds herself falling in love. Chris becomes obsessed with unmasking the killer.

With a serial killer now too close for comfort, Annie and her fellow swim-parents must make choices about where their loyalties lie. As a series of startling events unfold, Annie discovers what it means to follow your intuition, even if love, as well as lives, could be lost.

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Would I recommend it?:

Probably!

Star rating (out of 5):

3-5-stars

2.) Roseblood by Paul Doherty

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What’s it all about?:

England, 1455: a kingdom on the brink of civil war.

The Red Rose: King Henry of Lancaster’s days are numbered. Deemed unfit for rule, even by his own mother, he surely cannot last on the throne for long. Simon Roseblood – London lord, taverner and alderman – is one of few loyal servants left to fight his cause.

The White Rose: Ruthless Richard of York has his eye firmly set on the crown – and plenty of powerful allies who will do anything to help him win it. Henchman Amadeus Sevigny makes no bones about enforcing his own authority and asserting law and order at York’s command.

When Roseblood is summoned by Sevigny to stand trial for a crime he knows he didn’t commit, their paths cross in ways that alter them both for ever. And as the Wars of the Roses looms, an even greater foe is poised to rock the foundations of England, and wreak horror in a hotbed of political unrest.

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Would I recommend it?:

Probably not – fans of political thrillers may enjoy it though!

Star rating (out of 5):

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3.) Holy Cow by David Duchovny

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What’s it all about?:

A rollicking, globe-trotting adventure with a twist: a four-legged heroine you won’t soon forget

Elsie Bovary is a cow, and a pretty happy one at that-her long, lazy days are spent eating, napping, and chatting with her best friend, Mallory. One night, Elsie and Mallory sneak out of their pasture; but while Mallory is interested in flirting with the neighboring bulls, Elsie finds herself drawn to the farmhouse. Through the window, she sees the farmer’s family gathered around a bright Box God-and what the Box God reveals about something called an “industrial meat farm” shakes Elsie’s understanding of her world to its core.

There’s only one solution: escape to a better, safer world. And so a motley crew is formed: Elsie; Jerry-excuse me, Shalom-a cranky, Torah-reading pig who’s recently converted to Judaism; and Tom, a suave (in his own mind, at least) turkey who can’t fly, but who can work an iPhone with his beak. Toting stolen passports and slapdash human disguises, they head for the airport.

Elsie is our wise-cracking, pop-culture-reference-dropping, slyly witty narrator; Tom-who does eventually learn to fly (sort of)-dispenses psychiatric advice in a fake German accent; and Shalom, rejected by his adopted people in Jerusalem, ends up unexpectedly uniting Israelis and Palestinians. David Duchovny’s charismatic creatures point the way toward a mutual understanding and acceptance that the world desperately needs.

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Would I recommend it?:

Probably!

Star rating (out of 5):

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4.) The Snow Kimono by Mark Henshaw

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What’s it all about?:

On the same day that retired police inspector Auguste Jovert receives a letter from a woman claiming to be his daughter, he returns to his Paris apartment to find a stranger waiting for him.

That stranger is a Japanese professor called Tadashi Omura. What’s brought him to Jovert’s doorstep is not clear, but then he begins to tell his story – a story of a fractured friendship, lost lovers, orphaned children, and a body left bleeding in the snow.

As Jovert pieces together the puzzle of Omura’s life, he can’t help but draw parallels with his own; for he too has lead a life that’s been extraordinary and dangerous – and based upon a lie.

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Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

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COMING UP SOON ON MY PIN-IT REVIEWS: Four Books From NetGalley

April 2016 – Book Bridgr/NetGalley/Kindle/ARC Month

Published April 7, 2016 by bibliobeth

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Hi everyone, can you believe it’s April already? This year is just zooming by and I’m becoming very aware of my backlog of reviews. I have been particularly unwell recently so apologies for the lack of reviews, I’m hoping to get one out tomorrow and then resume normal service and will hopefully be writing a blog post to explain exactly what’s going on although as I mentioned earlier on Twitter, I’m a bit nervous about it as I don’t normally do personal posts. Huge thank you to the lovely Hannah at Broc’s Bookcase  who sent me a brilliant message of support earlier – big bookish blogger hugs to her! So anyway, here is what I’ll be attempting to get through this April – all those poor Kindle books that I’ve been meaning to get to for ages and plenty of ARC’s which definitely should have been read before now. I’ll link them to GoodReads so you guys can check out what they’re all about and when I get round to writing the review I’ll then link that. Have a great April everyone!

The Glorious Heresies – Lisa McInerney

(copy provided from BookBridgr and also long-listed for Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2016)

Dead Set – Will Carver

(copy provided from NetGalley)

Horns – Joe Hill

(copy on Kindle)

Necropolis – Guy Portman

(copy provided from author)

Shadow Of Night (All Souls Trilogy #2) – Deborah Harkness

(copy provided from BookBridgr)

Gift Of Time: A Family’s Diary Of Cancer – Rory MacLean

(copy provided from NetGalley)

The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements – Sam Kean

(copy on Kindle)

The Spirit Guide – Elizabeth Davies

(copy provided from author/publisher)

Sharp Objects – Gillian Flynn

(copy on Kindle)

The Secret Place – Tana French

(copy provided from BookBridgr)

 

Strange Girls And Ordinary Women – Morgan McCarthy

Published March 10, 2016 by bibliobeth

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What’s it all about?:

They say you know instinctively who to trust.

Alice is normal; she’d never do anything rash. But when she sees her husband one day with a younger girl, she knows at once that he’s having an affair. And it must be stopped.

Vic loves her friend Michael, more than he knows. He wants happiness, and thinks he’s found it with the magnetic Estella. But Vic feels sure she can’t be trusted – and she needs to make Michael see that too.

They don’t know Kaya; her life is tougher than they can imagine. But Kaya’s a survivor, and she’s determined to find a way out of her miserable world.

Three women, three lives that come crashing together in this dark, lyrical and utterly enthralling story of warped perceptions, female intuition and ‘the other woman’.

What did I think?:

First of all, many thanks to Book Bridgr (the fantastic site which provides books to eager book bloggers like myself) and to Tinder Press for allowing me to read a copy of this intriguing novel in return for an honest review. I’ve never read anything by the author, Morgan McCarthy before and I’m always keen to try new authors especially those that capture my attention with an eye-catching title and a tag-line that states: “We all see what we want to see.”

Strange Girls and Ordinary Women is a story told in three separate parts from three very different and independent women, the style of which took a little while to get used to but once I got each character established in my head I really enjoyed reading about each one individually. We have Alice, a “normal” housewife who is married to Jasper but her world is about to change forever when suspecting him of having an affair, she follows him and sees him meeting a younger woman. Then there is Vic, British born but living in Madeira where she manages a hotel that was formerly owned by her parents. Vic has had quite an interesting life and flirted quite seriously with Catholicism when she was younger, led into it by her childhood friend Kate who then passed away. When Vic’s oldest and very good friend Michael moves back to the island, Vic is ecstatic but less so about his girlfriend Estella as she has strong suspicions that there is something not right about her. Finally, my favourite character of the book – Kaya who has had a tough childhood trying to look after her alcoholic mother, Louise. Attempting to sever some ties and reclaim control over her life, Kaya moves in with a friend and makes money by stripping in an exclusive club. This is merely a short-term measure however as Kaya has many plans and ambitions for her future, things that may come to fruition when one of her rich (and married) client takes a fancy to her.

When you first begin this book, you wonder how there could be a connection between three such different women but there is a definite link that once discovered will have you quickly thumbing through the pages to determine how it will all be resolved! Each woman has something about them that kept me wanting to read and those that seem predictable turn out to be quite the opposite in the end. I probably enjoyed Kaya’s story more than the other two women but they all managed to surprise me in some shape or form. The author also cleverly mixes in an open ending for the grand finale so the reader is left to make up their own mind about the direction some of the characters may have taken. Anyone who finds this particular style frustrating will probably not enjoy this but I personally found it quite refreshing and I enjoyed making up alternate futures for them all! For my first book from this particular author, it was a good solid read with some lovely prose and interesting ideas and I shall certainly be checking out more books in her back catalogue.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

3-5-stars

 

October 2015 – Book Bridgr/NetGalley/Kindle/ARC Month

Published October 1, 2015 by bibliobeth

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I can’t believe how fast this year is going! It’s time for a regular feature now on my blog and it involves me doing some much needed catch up with review copies I’ve been sent and books on my kindle that I’ve been meaning to get to for months. So for most of October I shall be reading:

The Snow Kimono – Mark Henshaw

(courtesy of Book Bridgr)

Vatican Waltz – Roland Merullo

(courtesy of NetGalley)

Bats Sing, Mice Giggle: The Surprising Science of Animals’ Inner Lives – Karen Shanor, Jagmeet Kanwal

(bought for Kindle)

The Death Of Danny Daggers – Haydn Wilks

(courtesy of author)

Glow – Ned Beauman

(courtesy of Book Bridgr)

Beloved Strangers: A Memoir – Maria Chaudhuri

(courtesy of NetGalley)

The Book Of Souls – James Oswald

(bought for Kindle)

To Sea – Michael LoCurto

(courtesy of author)

The Ladies Of The House – Molly McGrann

(courtesy of Book Bridgr)

The Little Black Dress – Linda Palund

(courtesy of author)

No Other Darkness (DI Marnie Rome #2) – Sarah Hilary

Published July 6, 2015 by bibliobeth

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What’s it all about?:

From the Richard and Judy bestselling author Sarah Hilary. The phenomenal Marnie Rome returns in the outstanding follow up to the critically acclaimed SOMEONE ELSE’S SKIN.

Two young boys.
Trapped underground in a bunker.
Unable to understand why they are there.
Desperate for someone to find them.
Slowly realising that no-one will…

Five years later, the boys’ bodies are found and the most difficult case of DI Marnie Rome’s career begins.

Her only focus is the boys. She has to find out who they are and what happened to them.

For Marnie, there is no other darkness than this…

What did I think?:

I became a fan of Sarah Hilary’s after her amazing debut novel Someone Else’s Skin which was a Richard and Judy book club choice and a fantastic read which left me in no doubt that this was a series and an author that I was definitely going to follow. Sarah’s second novel featuring Detective Inspector Marnie Rome came out in April and I was lucky enough to get an advanced reading copy from Headline publishers and Book Bridgr in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to them! Well, I was hooked from the very beginning with an instantly intriguing and disturbing prologue featuring two young boys trapped in an underground bunker with no hope or means of escape. Five years later the bodies are found and DI Marnie Rome’s team must try to discover who the boys are and why on earth they came to such a horrific end.

I’m finding it difficult to review this book without giving away any spoilers as, like her debut, there are multiple layers to this story and in the end it turns out to be a hell of a lot more then just a “child abduction,” which is instantly suspected as the main motive for the killing. The author delves into some difficult and controversial areas and her main character Marnie is so determined to figure out the puzzle behind the two boys in the bunker that she risks endangering herself in the process. We also learn a lot more about Marnie’s wonderful sidekick, DS Noah Jake in relation to his childhood and more specifically, his relationship with his brother. The case has affected the team so deeply that they all begin to re-evaluate their ties with their loved ones and I really enjoyed learning more about both Marnie and Noah, two characters that have such an interesting back story and I just know more secrets are going to pop out as the author continues the series!

Once again, the ending was pure magic and such a roller-coaster ride of tension that I was certain I was going to leave finger indents on the book where I was gripping it so tightly. Sarah Hilary has a talent for turning up the pressure notch by notch, very slowly to a point where it almost becomes unbearable (this is all in a good way, of course!). This has the effect of making you feel on the edge of your seat at all times and putting the book down is practically impossible. The dramatic plot, tension and brilliant, relatable and readable characters all combine to make Sarah Hilary one of the best new voices in crime fiction currently writing today. She is also one of the authors that makes me rub my hands together in glee when anticipating a new book from them and I highly recommend starting with Someone Else’s Skin if you haven’t read this author before. All I want to know now is when is the third book coming out again?

Come back tomorrow for my interview with the lady herself when I ask the question we all want to know… does she dog-ear her books?!

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

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My Lovely Bookshelves

Published June 6, 2015 by bibliobeth

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Hello everyone, I’m here to introduce my lovely bookshelves. I was inspired to write this post after seeing Cleo’s bookshelves on her blog – please see her post here and she in turn, was inspired by the post on Snazzy Books site. Thanks girls!

How do I organise my books?

I’ve got quite a few places for books to live despite having these two bookshelves which as you can see, are full to the brim. Despite the chaos that you can see, it is organised honest! I have a shelf which is mainly review books by Book Bridgr, lovely authors who send me books etc. I have another shelf for crime/horror/thriller which holds authors such as James Herbert, Dean Koontz, James Patterson, Lee Child, Tess Gerritsen.

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The shelf in the middle of the picture are my little Agatha Christie hardbacks which look beautiful and I absolutely love but somehow need to get round to reading!

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Favourite authors that appear on my shelf?

Philippa Gregory, Alison Weir, Victoria Hislop, Irvine Welsh, John Grisham, Haruki Murakami, Ben Elton and Ian McEwan amongst many, many others. I even have an entire shelf devoted to the king that is Stephen King.

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What books do I have that I want to read soon but haven’t yet got around to?

Ah, these cover a range of shelves! The Quick by Lauren Owen, The Teleportation Accident by Ned Beauman, All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart, Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill, Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant and The Ruby Slippers by Keir Alexander…to name a few.

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Which books do I wish that were on my bookshelf but aren’t?

This is a tough one. I already feel that I could give The British Library a run for its money. I would love to have first editions of my all-time favourite books like It by Stephen King, Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami.

Which books on my shelf are borrowed?

I’ve got Chinese Whispers by Ben Chu, Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel and the recent Baileys Women’s Prize for fiction winner 2015 How To Be Both by Ali Smith which I’ve borrowed from the local library.

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Is there anything I dislike about my bookshelves?

That there isn’t enough room! Just look at all the books I’ve had to stack up against the bookshelves on the floor. And then there’s under my bed where I’ve managed to squeeze a few (ok… around thirty/forty). I’ve got some amazing books here that I’m a little afraid that I’m going to forget about because I can’t see them properly in all their glory. At the moment I’m on a book banning buy so that I can try and get on top of my TBR and get the books on the floor and under the bed in the shelves where they belong. It’s hard though, when books come a calling, I want to go a buying!

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So there’s a quick gander at my bookish life. Yes, it’s messy and a bit complicated, but I love it and never get bored of rummaging in my shelves. Thanks again to Cleopatra Loves Books and Snazzy Books for the idea for this post and Happy Reading to everyone!

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