For Christmas my husband gave me The Lily Bard Mysteries Omnibus (along with a whole stack of other books). This bumper bind-up includes five books by Charlaine Harris. For those of you who don’t know, Charlaine wrote the Sookie Stackhouse series of thirteen books which the TV series True Blood was based on. She’s also written a few more series.
The five Lily Bard books in this 935 page brick of a book include:
These five stories revolve around Lily Bard, who is a plain speaking, tough woman in her thirties who runs a cleaning business. She lives in a sleepy little town named Shakespeare which is located in Arkansas. Lily always seems to get involved in the murders and mysteries that crop up in this small town. She is also the survivor of a brutal attack that left her scarred and in the news a few years ago and she came to Shakespeare for a fresh start. Continue reading →
The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle* by Stuart Turton is a book which defies classification. It’s uniqueness will have you puzzling out an unpredictable mystery and at the mercy of an unconventional plot. It’s a hybrid of a book which mixes a classic whodunnit with Groundhog Day, Downton Abbey and The Good Place.
This complicated mystery is set in a once great, but now moldering, manor named Blackheath House. Every night Evelyn Hardcastle is murdered at a party thrown by her parents. This happens every night at the same time. Each day Aiden Bishop, inhabiting the body of a different guest (host), has to try to figure out who the murderer is. He will finally be allowed to escape this ongoing time loop and leave Blackheath once he identifies the murderer. But he is not the only one tasked with solving the murder and other people are bent on stopping him by any means necessary. Continue reading →
Frenchman’s Creekby Daphne du Maurier is my first read of 2019. I read this a long time ago, so was happy to do a re-read as I had forgotten most of the plot. I’m so glad that I read this again as it was a fantastic read which I enjoyed so much.
Frenchman’s Creek is a rollicking, swashbuckling adventure set during the Restoration period in England. Lady Dona St Columb, the mother of two small children, is fed up with the shallow life she leads at Court. She is known for being a daring woman who drinks with her husband, his friends and their mistresses and is known to engage in wild escapades. Continue reading →
Happy New Year everyone! In 2018 I read 105 books. I enjoyed reading books across many different genres from YA to historical fiction to romance. In 2019 I want to read more books from my unread shelf. I have so many books that have been waiting patiently for my attention, many of them classics, and this is the year that I want to get stuck into them.
Last year I set myself the challenge of reading 60 books and ended up blowing that goal out of the water. But classics take me a bit more time to read than modern books. For that reason I’m going to set my goal at 70 books this year so I don’t feel too much pressure.
Books that are on my to be read pile in 2019 include:
Classics on my shelf that I want to read
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
Nineteen-Eighty Four by George Orwell (re-read)
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle (re-read)
Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll (re-read)
Middlemarch by George Eliot
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (re-read)
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Persuasion by Jane Austen (re-read)
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (re-read)
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (re-read)
Emma by Jane Austen (re-read)
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (re-read)
Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
The Iliad by Homer (re-read)
The Odyssey by Homer (re-read)
My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier
The Loving Spirit by Daphne du Maurier
The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier
The Scapegoat by Daphne du Maurier
Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier (re-read)
Fiction & Crime fiction on my shelf that I want to read
The Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah
The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty
Day Shift by Charlaine Harris
The Aurora Teagarden Mysteries by Charlaine Harris (11 books in the series!)
The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes
Foreign Fruit by Jojo Moyes
The Peacock Emporium by Jojo Moyes
Paris for One by Jojo Moyes
The One Plus One by Jojo Moyes (re-read)
Crimson Lake by Candice Fox
The Cuckoos Calling by Robert Galbraith (and the next few books if I like this one)
The Last Chance Saloon by Marian Keyes (re-read)
The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes (re-read)
The Other Side of the Story by Marian Keyes (re-read)
Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
YA fiction on my shelf that I still need to read
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge
The Rift by Rachael Craw
Dry by Neal Shusterman
Books from my husband’s shelf that I might read
Misery by Stephen King
Carrie by Stephen King
The Shining by Stephen King
The Outsider by Stephen King
Elevation by Stephen King
There are a lot more books but I’ll see how I go! There are only so many weeks in a year!
Books I want to get (even though I already have so many books to read)
99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne (I loved The Hating Game so really want to get this when it comes out at the end of January).
An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks (I enjoyed The Wife Between Us so look forward to getting this book some time soon).
Becoming by Michelle Obama (I’m hoping to get my hands on this biography and devour it).
Mythos by Stephen Fry and Heroes by Stephen Fry (I love Greek mythology and have had my eye on these books for a while. Maybe this is the year I get them!)
The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar (This book looks so intriguing and I’m seeing it everywhere. I’ll keep my eye out for an inexpensive copy).
The Wedding Date and The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory (These books are all over bookstagram and look like the perfect, frothy holiday reads. I might get them ahead of my holiday in March).
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (This is a New York Times #1 bestseller that I’m seeing everywhere. It looks like a powerful book so I’m hoping to grab a copy at some stage).
I’ll leave my list here for now. I’m going to try very hard to read books that I already own but I’m an impulsive reader who is easily swayed by what other booklovers are reading. So I’m not going to be too hard on myself if I buy too many new books. Still, I will give this list my best shot.
What about you? What are your bookish resolutions for 2019? I’d love to hear them.
Just in the nick of time before 2018 closes, I want to share my favourite reads from September to December 2018. Simply click on the links below to read the original reviews. These books are in no particular order and all were amazing in their own unique way.
This was a recent read of mine which I devoured. It’s about a Chinese American family dealing with the death of sixteen-year-old Lydia Lee and trying to find their way back to each other. I couldn’t put this down.
Read this if you want a beautifully written novel about a family in crisis.
The Lost Man is Jane Harper’s third novel and it’s her best book yet. I read this in 24 hours because I was hooked on trying to solve the mystery. I thought that The Dry was good, Force of Nature was even better, but The Lost Man is now my favourite. My husband read this as well and we both gave it 5 stars.
Verdict: A top-notch mystery that you have to read!
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It’s a romance with lots of steamy scenes but it has enough differences to make it stand out. For starters, the female protagonist has Asperger’s and her love interest is a male Asian American gigolo. It’s a twist on the Pretty Woman story and is a lot of fun.
Verdict: Read this if you want a romance book with an unconventional plot
After watching and loving the Netflix movie based on this book, I just had to read the whole series. It was such a fun, sweet coming-of-age novel. I don’t read a huge amount of YA books but I really enjoyed this series.
Liane Moriarty is one of my automatic-buy authors. I loved this latest book set at a wellness retreat and told from the point-of-views of nine strangers. It explores so many different themes such as: grief and loss, love and family, loneliness and identity. It’s funny, entertaining and sad.
Verdict: Another brilliant book from one of my favourite authors.
Homegoing tells the story of two branches of an African family starting from the 18th century. One family line stays in Ghana, the other deals with the hardship of America and slavery. Each chapter tells the story of a different descendant, both men and women, and keeps going from the 18th century through to the present day. I learned a lot from reading this novel.
Verdict: A beautifully written, powerful novel.
Have you read any of these books? What did you think?
My husband bought me a whole stack of Daphne du Maurier books for my birthday. Over the years I’ve read Rebecca, Jamaica Inn and Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier. But I wanted to read more of her books. The King’s General is set in 17th century Cornwall during the time of the English Civil War. Even though this book is called The King’s General, and he features as a character in the novel, the story is told from the point-of-view of Honor Harris.
When Honor is eighteen she is passionate, beautiful, reckless and the spoiled youngest daughter of a large family. She reminded me a bit of Scarlett O’Hara from Gone With the Wind. Honor meets Sir Richard Grenville, a soldier who cares only for fighting and not about the feelings of those around him. Richard is a bit like Rhett Butler, only meaner, and he is dedicated to fighting for his king. He’s really not a likeable person but is a brilliant soldier. When Richard meets Honor something clicks. Her family is against any match between them and sends Honor home. Richard follows her and they meet in secret and eventually become engaged.
But then tragedy strikes days before their wedding and Honor sends Richard away. I won’t tell you what the tragedy is but it’s a good twist and changes Honor’s life forever. It’s rare to find a novel told from the point-of-view of a person in her situation. Continue reading →
The Lost Man is Jane Harper’s third novel and it’s her best book yet. I read this in 24 hours because I was hooked on trying to solve the mystery. I thought that The Dry was good, Force of Nature was even better, but The Lost Man is now my favourite.
This books tells the story of three brothers living on adjacent vast cattle properties in the middle of outback Queensland. It’s a place so remote that it takes three hours to drive to the nearest town and groceries are delivered every six weeks by a refrigerated truck. People drive around in cars packed with water, food, spare tires, fuel and radios because if you breakdown out here then help is a long way away and wandering anywhere in the harsh sun can lead to death in hours. One policeman looks after a territory the size of the state of Victoria. It’s an extreme environment full of heat and dust. Continue reading →
My husband bought Sheltering Rain by Jojo Moyes for me from a second-hand bookstore online. It’s her very first novel and I had never heard of it before. I love Jojo Moyes books so I was excited to get stuck into this one.
Sheltering Rain tells the story of three women from the same family. There’s Joy who grew up in Hong Kong and meets her husband Edward, a naval officer, in the 1950s. We later meet her as an elderly woman who lives in Ireland with her husband and looks after horses. There’s Joy’s daughter, Kate, who lives in London with her daughter and is going through relationship problems. And there’s Kate’s daughter Sabine, who is fifteen-years-old and has a whole heap of attitude. She is sent for a short visit to see the grandparents she barely knows as her mother doesn’t have much of a relationship with Joy. Continue reading →