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 →
I devoured Landline by Rainbow Rowell over a 24 hour period but it left me with mixed feelings. Landline is about a TV writer, Georgie McCool, who is married to Neal and has two young daughters. When Georgie has to write a new pilot in the lead up to Christmas with her writing partner, her husband takes the kids to his mother’s place without her.
Georgie then can’t reach her husband on the phone. He’s not replying to any of her calls or texts. But then she manages to reach him with an old phone and landline from her childhood bedroom. The only problem is that she’s magically connected to a past version of Neal from years ago before they were married.
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng is a book I’ve been meaning to read since reading Little Fires Everywhere by the same author at the start of 2018. It took me almost a year to finally buy this book. Once I started it, I couldn’t put it down.
This book is about the Lees, a Chinese American family living in a small Ohio town in the 1970s. The dad, James, is a Chinese American college professor who marries Marilyn, a white girl with ambitions of becoming a doctor. Getting pregnant with their first child halts Marilyn’s ambitions. They go on to have three children: Nath, Lydia and Hannah.
I’ve been going through a mini Liane Moriarty reread phase. I read Three Wishesyears ago but I couldn’t remember what happened. So it was nice to revisit this book again. Three Wishes is about the three Kettle sisters – Cat, Gemma and Lyn – who also happen to be triplets. The book starts with the eyewitness accounts of bystanders who witness the triplets have a raucous dinner in a Sydney restaurant. The dinner ends with a violent argument and one sister throwing a fork at her pregnant sister, impaling her stomach. The fork thrower then passes out from the shock. Just like the bystanders, the reader has no idea what this is all about and which sister is the culprit. Continue reading →
Five Years From Nowby Paige Toon was a very moving read. When I picked this up I thought the name Paige Toon seemed familiar but I’ve never read any of her books before. Then I realised her very first book Lucy in the Sky was just about to be released as I was leaving my first publishing job at Simon & Schuster Australia to head over to the UK to live and work.
Why did I wait so long to read this wonderful book? I had seen The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah being raved about for years and for some reason I never read it. It was only when I visited my parents’ place and saw this book on their shelf that I finally decided to give it a go. Even then it sat in my to be read pile for ages, alone and unloved, until I picked it up recently and started reading. And then I couldn’t stop until I had read it all. Continue reading →
I haven’t been posting many reviews in the last couple of weeks because I’m six books into the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas. This series is epic in scale, and I’m loving it, but it’s dominating my reading time at the moment. I don’t want to do a book by book review because of spoilers but I will post something non-spoilery about the series soon.
So to combat my review drought, I have decided to look back at the past four months of reading and pick my favourite books in a few different genres. If you are looking for your next great read, feel free to click on the links below to go to my original review. Happy Reading!
Best Fiction/Literature Reads
1 Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fineby Gail Honeyman is a novel that deserves all the buckets of praise it’s getting. If you like books with a quirky narrator who is different from any other character you’ve ever read about, then this is a book that will warm your heart. I haven’t encountered a character like Eleanor before. The way she thinks and acts throughout the book had me laughing, cringing and pitying her. I also cheered her on as she opened up more to people and life.
My Verdict: Read this if you want to meet an unforgettable protagonist who gives you all the feels.
2. Still Me by Jojo Moyes is such a delightful read and the perfect conclusion to the three book series which began with Me Before You and continued with After You. I know it’s rude of me to recommend you read a book that is the third book in a series, but I am urging you to go and read the whole series. If you want to get your heart smashed to pieces and then stuck back together again then please give this series a read.
My Verdict: I don’t give starred reviews on this blog… if I did, this book would get 5 stars. I loved it!
3. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng is a novel that is popping up everywhere and it’s such a great read that is worthy of all the hype! It’s a story about teenagers, mothers, families, parenting, art, race, class, creativity and love, told from many perspectives. There’s also a court case woven into the story that will have you debating both sides.
My Verdict: An absolute gem of a book that is beautifully written.
If you are looking for a great historical fiction series packed with intrigue, family issues and a little bit of romance, then I have the series for you. I first discovered the Wintercombe series by Pamela Belle about fifteen years ago. I picked up Wintercombe in a second-hand book store and then later its sequel Herald of Joy. I lost both books in a house move and then spent years trying to find them again. To my delight, I discovered that both books were available as ebooks this year and I bought them immediately. And I also discovered book three A Falling Star and book four Treason’s Gift.
Wintercombe is set during the English civil war in the 17th century and tells the story of its namesake, Wintercombe, a beautiful manor house in Somerset where Puritan Lady Silence St Barbe lives with her two step-children Rachael and Nathaniel and three children Tabitha, Deb and William. Her Parliamentarian husband is off fighting in the war. Silence is the perfect Puritan wife to her much older husband and lives a quiet, godly existence.
The English Civil war has been raging for two years when a detachment of Cavaliers is sent to garrison at this country house. Not having anywhere to take her children, and not wishing to let her house and beloved gardens be destroyed by the enemy in her absence, Silence elects to stay for the occupation.
Captain Nick Hellier is the second-in-command of the enemy Royalist soldiers and is, at first, not someone Silence is willing to trust. But compared to the brutish Lieutenant-Colonel Ridgeley who is evil incarnate, Captain Hellier is mild mannered. He soon becomes someone Silence can go to for help, despite being an enemy, as he does his best to protect her and the children from Ridgeley’s wrath. Amidst all the turmoil of war, Silence begins to break free from the constraints around her and allow music, laughter and love into her life in the form of Nick. Continue reading →