Added week ending 28 May 2016

Well it seems like review copies are like buses, nothing for a while then they all come at once, all five to be precise (but certainly not complaining).

Boy Made of Blocks, A

A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart. Thanks to Clara Diaz at Little Brown for the invitation to read this before it’s publication of 1 September.


Meet thirtysomething dad, Alex
He loves his wife Jody, but has forgotten how to show it. He loves his son Sam, but doesn’t understand him. Something has to change. And he needs to start with himself.

Meet eight-year-old Sam
Beautiful, surprising, autistic. To him the world is a puzzle he can’t solve on his own.

But when Sam starts to play Minecraft, it opens up a place where Alex and Sam begin to rediscover both themselves and each other . . .

Can one fragmented family put themselves back together, one piece at a time?

Inspired by the author’s experiences with his own son, A Boy Made of Blocks is an astonishingly authentic story of love, family and autism.


Truly Madly Guilty

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty. Review copy via NetGalley, due for publication on 28 July.


Despite their differences, Erika and Clementine have been best friends since they were children. So when Erika needs help, Clementine should be the obvious person to turn to. Or so you’d think.

For Clementine, as a mother of a two desperately trying to practise for the audition of a lifetime, the last thing she needs is Erika asking for something, again.

But the barbecue should be the perfect way to forget their problems for a while. Especially when their hosts, Vid and Tiffany, are only too happy to distract them.

Which is how it all spirals out of control…


Farm at the Edge of the World

Farm at the Edge of the World by Sarah Vaughan. Review copy via NetGalley and due for publication on 30 June.


1939, and Will and Alice are evacuated to a granite farm in north Cornwall, perched on a windswept cliff. There they meet the farmer’s daughter, Maggie, and against fields of shimmering barley and a sky that stretches forever, enjoy a childhood largely protected from the ravages of war.

But in the sweltering summer of 1943 something happens that will have tragic consequences. A small lie escalates. Over 70 years on Alice is determined to atone for her behaviour – but has she left it too late?

2014, and Maggie’s granddaughter Lucy flees to the childhood home she couldn’t wait to leave thirteen years earlier, marriage over; career apparently ended thanks to one terrible mistake. Can she rebuild herself and the family farm? And can she help her grandmother, plagued by a secret, to find some lasting peace?

This is a novel about identity and belonging; guilt, regret and atonement; the unrealistic expectations placed on children and the pain of coming of age. It’s about small lies and dark secrets. But above all it’s about a beautiful, desolate, complex place.


Miss You

Miss You by Kate Eberlen. I’m holding Hayley at RathertoofondofBooks for this one as it was on her round up last week and caught my eye. Copy approved by NetGalley ahead of publication on 11 August.


Tess and Gus are meant to be. They just haven’t met properly yet. And perhaps they never will . . .

Today is the first day of the rest of your life is the motto on a plate in the kitchen at home, and Tess can’t get it out of her head, even though she’s in Florence for a final, idyllic holiday before university. Her life is about to change forever – but not in the way she expects.

Gus and his parents are also on holiday in Florence. Their lives have already changed suddenly and dramatically. Gus tries to be a dutiful son, but longs to escape and discover what sort of person he is going to be.

For one day, the paths of an eighteen-year-old girl and boy criss-cross before they each return to England.

Over the course of the next sixteen years, life and love will offer them very different challenges. Separated by distance and fate, there’s no way the two of them are ever going to meet each other properly . . . or is there?


Paris Mon Amour

Paris Mon Amour by Isabel Costello. Another NetGalley approval ahead of publication on 13 June.


The first time I caused terrible harm to the people I love it was an accident. The second is the reason I’m here.

When Alexandra discovers that her husband Philippe is having an affair, she can’t believe he’d risk losing the love that has transformed both their lives.

Still in shock, Alexandra finds herself powerfully attracted to a much younger man. Jean-Luc Malavoine is twenty-three, intense and magnetic. He’s also the son of Philippe’s best friend.

With every increasingly passionate liaison, Alexandra is pulled deeper into a situation that threatens everyone she holds dear.

Beautifully told through the boulevards and arrondissements of the City of Light, Paris Mon Amour is a sensual novel about inescapable desire and devastating betrayals. It is the story of one woman and two men, and what happens when there is no way out.


I’ve been quite restrained with Kindle purchases this week and limited myself to 3


Heresy by S J Parris. I’ve read lots of good things about this series and managed to collect books 2-4 either on Kindle or in print but still didn’t have book 1 until now. A bargain 99p


In Elizabeth’s England, true faith can mean bloody murder…


England is rife with plots to assassinate Queen Elizabeth and return the country to the Catholic faith. Defending the realm through his network of agents, the Queen’s spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham works tirelessly to hunt down all traitors.

His latest recruit is Giordano Bruno, a radical thinker fleeing the Inquisition, who is sent undercover to Oxford to expose a Catholic conspiracy. But he has his own secret mission at the University – one that must remain hidden at all costs.

When a series of hideous murders ruptures close-knit college life, Bruno is compelled to investigate. And what he finds makes it brutally clear that the Tudor throne itself is at stake…


House at Zaronza, The

The House at Zaronza : a Tale of Corsica by Vanessa Couchman. Spotted this for 99p with good reviews. Posted it on my free and bargain FBook page and was assured by one of my  readers that it was very good, so I bought it myself.


The past uncovered.

Rachel Swift travels to Corsica to discover more about her forebears. She comes across a series of passionate love letters and delves into their history.

The story unfolds of a secret romance at the start of the 20th century between a village schoolteacher and Maria, the daughter of a bourgeois family. Maria’s parents have other plans for her future, though, and she sees her dreams crumble.

Her life is played out against the backdrop of Corsica, the ‘island of beauty’, and the turmoil of World War I.

This is a story about love, loss and reconciliation in a strict patriarchal society, whose values are challenged as the world changes.

Love gained and lost.


Silent Girls, The

The Silent Girls by Ann Troup. Couldn’t resist this when it appeared in the sale for 99p


What if everything you knew was a lie…

This house has a past that won’t stay hidden, and it is time for the dead to speak.

Returning to Number 17, Coronation Square, Edie is shocked to find the place she remembers from childhood reeks of mould and decay. After her aunt Dolly’s death Edie must clear out the home on a street known for five vicious murders many years ago, but under the dirt and grime of years of neglect lurk dangerous truths.

For in this dark house there is misery, sin and dark secrets that can no longer stay hidden. The truth must come out.

Finding herself dragged back into the horrific murders of the past, Edie must find out what really happened all those years ago. But as Edie uncovers the history of the family she had all but forgotten, she begins to wonder if sometimes it isn’t best to leave them buried.


Oh dear, here comes the good/bad bit – 11 charity shop buys, it was actually 12 but I already had one (not surprised I don’t do that more often). On the plus side a mere £3.19 for the lot (£50 at Kindle prices), all in near pristine condition and the Cecelia Ahern in hardback.

I Do Not Sleep by Judy Finnigan

The Ex-Wives by Deborah Moggach

The Food of Love by Anthony Capella

Just a Family Affair by Veronica Henry

The House on Carnaval Street by Deborah Rodriguez

The Corners of the Globe by Robert Goddard

The Next Time You See Me by Holly Goddard Jones

A Song for Issy Bradley by Carys Bray

Precocious by Joanna Barnard

The Au Pair by Jenny Fraser

The Marble Collector by Cecelia Ahern


And finally a round up of this week’s Kindle freebies

So Long Marianne by Dom Haslam

Carrion by Betsy Reavley

The Stranger’s Obituary by Jessica L Randall

The Last Gift by Carla Acheson

A Year in Tuscany by Annie Ayre

Missing Girls by Larry Crane

The Man with Green Fingers by Catherine Broughton

Hugo Duchamp Investigates by G N Hetherington

A Love That Never Tires by Allyson Jeleyne

Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J Ryan Stradal


  1. Oh wow, Jill, I didn’t have a hope of beating you this week with my paltry nine!!!!!

    Like you, I also got A Boy Made of Blocks and Truly Madly Guilty (I love Liane Moriarty). I’ve got The Silent Girls, The Food of Love, I Do Not Sleep and The Marble Collector on my TBR pile. I’m not a fan of Cecilia Ahern but I do like the sound of this story.

    I’ve read A Song for Issy Bradley which was good, but The Museum of You (which you have) is a lot better, in my opinion.

    I got Carrion this week too (thank you) and as you know, I loved Kitchens of the Great Midwest.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This week was made worse by fitting in 2 trips to charity shop (did my shopping yesterday) which meant some of those would have fallen into next week’s list. Also several of the NetGalley approvals have been waiting around for a while. Next week is your week as I try to reign myself in. I like how you’ve also got or read half of what I list anyway – happy reading – I’m planning a readfest this weekend ☺


      • Well, at least I’m not thinking that I need to go off and buy them all as I have quite a few of them already! I meant to say in my last post, isn’t it funny how somebody else mentioning a book can suddenly make it more interesting? You said that about Miss You and since I saw it on here I have now gone and requested it, whereas before I dismissed it.


  2. Thanks for these lists and descriptions but when do you get time to read them all? I read between 1 and 2 books a week and usually have 4 or 5 from Netgalley to review but loads of p/b I buy as well as others on Kindle! Plus books I want to re-read…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Lucille, bit of an edited reply as internet went down on original reply and I’m using my tablet which doesn’t help. Long and short I don’t. I aim to read approx 100 books per year and I do have probably more books than years currently. However in my defence I do see them as my future reading. When the govt finally let me retire (I’m a WASPI woman) I sadly envisage libraries as not being an option (as an ex librarian I don’t say that lightly) and I also won’t have same disposable income. We’re also currently in process of moving to more rural area which immediately halts my charity shop buys. Having looked at charity shops in area we’re going they are waaayyyy more than my current 20p! So I am partly acquiring with that in mind so that as and when I have plenty of books and choice and don’t have to worry (unless I need large print and ereaders are defunct) ☺

      Liked by 1 person

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