I know, I don’t usually post on Sundays, but there’s just so much going on that I’ve left till after the A to Z.
First – the Children’s Book Week Giveaway and goodies is taking place on the Princelings of the East website. Please pop over and take a look.
Next, I’m having a blitz on my reading – not necessarily of ARCs but of books I’ve received from publishers free of charge whether they are already published or not. These are all allowable under the rules of the Clean Sweep ARC Challenge, hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Addicted to Happily Ever After.
Click the button below to get to the rules and sign-up information (sign up is open for another couple of weeks).
My challenge list (the first two have been on my currently reading list during April, but I only started the first one on Thursday):
- Decanting A Murder
- Finished 1st May. A highly enjoyable crime thriller set in the wine-lands of the Napa Valley. The author knows her subject through and through, and provides enough twists and misdirection to satisfy the most jaded crime reader. A real page turner, despite the irritating friend.
- The Cursed Canoe
- This is a strange mystery, for it is not very mysterious, and if it’s a cosy, there’s not much in the way of detection going on. The situation seems reasonably clear, although a few more details are revealed as time goes on, but it’s all very enjoyable and full of Hawaiian terms and terrain. A nice read for a train journey.
- The Good Liar
- It’s going to be a long con. But somehow, the conner might just get conned – or will it work like that after all? As we backtrack through the liar’s life we discover lies within lies within opportunistic deceptions. A brilliant novel that grabs your attention and takes you, willingly or not, through to the end.
- Thirteen stories containing time travel that are all so different from one another and yet not a dud among them. Even the one that slid towards horror gripped me with its mystery. Some travel to the past deliberately, some to prevent timeline changes; some even do it multiple times making the initial wrong they want to right worse each time. And in some, time is immutable; however much you rewrite time for a while, it corrects itself. This is a gem for all time-travel fans, and anyone who loves stories with heart.
- Jolly Foul Play
- An enjoyable detective romp with young teen girls in a 1930s private school. Excellent pace, believable characters and spot on for the period. Recommended.
- Sidney Chambers and the Perils of the Night
- Rather like a men’s Miss Marple, Sidney Chambers adds crime solving to his work as the local vicar in a suburb of Cambridge. In a series of linked short stories, he uncovers hints of spy rings in the mid 1950s Corpus Christi college, rambles through the nefarious doings of his parishioners, bores me to tears with an interminable and detailed account of several cricket matches, and finishes up in 1961 in Berlin – not a good time to go visiting friends in Leipzig. It’s somehow compelling, but I don’t know why.
- The Snow Tourist
- a journalist takes multiple journeys, often back-to-back, to find out all he can about snow – which is really interesting! I also found it interesting that his wife still tolerated his travels even when he was away for the birth of their third child. Or maybe he was such a wuss about the first two she preferred it that way! Loved the history of ski jumping most 🙂
- Finished on 31st May! Patrick Barkham’s quest to really understand the badger and the part he plays in English culture takes him and us to some dark and dangerous places, as well as beautiful crepuscular woods deep in the countryside, lyrically described so the moss, cuckoo and scent-marking assault your senses. He brings a fascinating journalistic approach to every aspect from pre-history and literature to rescued animals and the great badger-cull fiasco of 2012. Well, he actually finishes with the resurgence of badgers in Norfolk.
- Trina Bell’s Humming Summer
- A delightful story of a girl, a dog and many, many hummingbirds, in something of a wild-life lovers tour of Victoria BC. There is an underlying mystery that appears a little secondary to the main story to add excitement, but the tale is richly told and the imagery is superb.
- Dear Amy
- A first-class psychological thriller that I really couldn’t put down. One of those books that leaves you wanting more… and sitting thinking for an hour afterwards. Not for people with personality disorders.
All the links are to the Goodreads pages. I may not read them in that order. I have left out books I received in Storybundles, although those might qualify as well. The trouble is, nearly all of these are paperbacks, and I definitely read paperbacks much slower than ebooks on my Kindle.
There is a giveaway for participants which gives entries for each book read and reviewed (short review on Goodreads, full review on the blog later in the year). I might not complete all of these, since ten in a month is a huge chunk out of my overall challenge for the year, but it will leave me feeling good about myself, however many I read!
I’ll update this list each time I finish one. Check my Goodreads list at the side for updates on progress if you’re desperate.