My Week in Books

New arrivals

A very restrained week on the purchase, review request and ARC front (pats self on back)…….

JackDawkinsJack Dawkins by Charlton Daines (ebook, 99p)

Jack Dawkins, once known as the Artful Dodger in the streets of London, was sent to Australia on a prison ship when he was little more than a boy. Now he has returned to find that London has changed while the boy has turned into a man. With few prospects provided by his criminal past and having developed mannerisms that allow him to move amongst a higher strata of society, Jack turns his back on the streets that would have primed him as a successor to the murderer, Bill Sykes, and quickly remodels himself as a gentleman thief. New acquaintances and a series of chance encounters, including one with his old friend Oliver, create complications as remnants of his past come back to plague him. Jack is forced to struggle for a balance between his new life and memories that haunt him with visions of the derelict tavern where Nancy used to sing.

TheFloatingTheatreThe Floating Theatre by Martha Conway (ARC, NetGalley)

In a nation divided by prejudice, everyone must take a side. When young seamstress May Bedloe is left alone and penniless on the shore of the Ohio, she finds work on the famous floating theatre that plies its trade along the river. Her creativity and needlework skills quickly become invaluable and she settles in to life among the colourful troupe of actors. She finds friends, and possibly the promise of more… But cruising the border between the Confederate South and the ‘free’ North is fraught with danger. For the sake of a debt that must be repaid, May is compelled to transport secret passengers, under cover of darkness, across the river and on, along the underground railroad.  But as May’s secrets become harder to keep, she learns she must endanger those now dear to her. And to save the lives of others, she must risk her own…

ExquisiteExquisite by Sarah Stovell (ebook, review copy)

Bo Luxton has it all—a loving family, a beautiful home in the Lake District, and a clutch of bestselling books to her name. Enter Alice Dark, an aspiring writer who is drifting through life, with a series of dead-end jobs and a freeloading boyfriend. When they meet at a writers’ retreat, the chemistry is instant, and a sinister relationship develops. Or does it? Breathlessly pacey, taut and terrifying, Exquisite is a startlingly original and unbalancing psychological thriller that will keep you guessing until the very last page.

On What Cathy Read Next last week

Book Reviews

On Monday I published reviews of Gravel Heart by Abdulrazak Gurnah and The 7th Function of Language by Laurent Binet.  Tuesday saw the publication of my review of Crystal King’s debut novel set in Ancient Rome, Feast of Sorrow.

Other posts

On Monday, I let my imagination run riot by conjuring up what would be my dream book conference panel. It featured two characters interviewing their authors in not altogether serious vein. On Wednesday and Thursday, I put the spotlight on Jeff Russell’s book The Dream Shelf with an excerpt followed by a Q&A. Friday saw an author Q&A with Caro Fraser as part of the blog tour for her historical fiction novel, The Summer House Party. Finally, yesterday I participated in the book blitz & giveaway for Debutante, a prequel to Marie Silk’s popular Davenport House series.

Challenge updates

  • Goodreads 2017 Reading Challenge – 51 out of 78 books read (2 more than last week)
  • Classics Club – 2 out of 50 books reviewed (same as last week)
  • NetGalley and Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2017 – 25 ARCs reviewed out of 25 (1 more than last week) Challenge Achieved!
  • From Page to Screen – 6 book/film comparisons completed (same as last week)
  • The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction Shortlist 2017 – 3 out of 7 read (1 more than last week)

On What Cathy Read Next this week

Currently reading

Planned posts

  • Review: Anne Boleyn: The King’s Obsession by Alison Weir
  • Review: These Dividing Walls by Fran Cooper
  • Review: The X-Variant by Rosemary Cole
  • Book Blitz: The Devil’s Whisper by T. H. Moore
  • Book Blitz: Streets of Glass by Michelle D. Argyle
  • Blog Tour/Guest Post: Deposed by David Barbaree
  • Review: Mothering Sunday by Graham Swift
  • Review: The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain

Reviews to be added to NetGalley

None – all up to date!


How was your week in books?  Blockbuster or should have stayed on the slush pile?

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