My Week in Books


New arrivals

Quite a few new arrivals this week what with review copies, purchases in the Amazon Summer Sale, an indulgent purchase and a giveaway prize.

PathofLucasPath of Lucas: The Journey He Endured by Susanne Bellefeuille     (ebook, review copy courtesy of the author and iRead Book Tours)

Lucas Clarkson is a simple man, a family man, and a hard working farmer’s son. From a small town in Eastern Ontario, the author brings us on Lucas’s journey through the trials and tribulations of his life. Lucas’s path is not as simple as the man he’s portrayed to be. From the days spent working on his dad’s farm to becoming a successful mechanic, with a genuine heart and his incredible strength, Lucas faces many difficult decisions. The choices he makes may be the difference between realizing his dreams and keeping his family together.

TheBoneClocksThe Bone Clocks by David Mitchell (ebook, 99p)

Following a scalding row with her mother, fifteen-year-old Holly Sykes slams the door on her old life. But Holly is no typical teenage runaway: a sensitive child once contacted by voices she knew only as “the radio people,” Holly is a lightning rod for psychic phenomena. Now, as she wanders deeper into the English countryside, visions and coincidences reorder her reality until they assume the aura of a nightmare brought to life. For Holly has caught the attention of a cabal of dangerous mystics—and their enemies. But her lost weekend is merely the prelude to a shocking disappearance that leaves her family irrevocably scarred. This unsolved mystery will echo through every decade of Holly’s life, affecting all the people Holly loves—even the ones who are not yet born.

A Cambridge scholarship boy grooming himself for wealth and influence, a conflicted father who feels alive only while reporting from occupied Iraq, a middle-aged writer mourning his exile from the bestseller list—all have a part to play in this surreal, invisible war on the margins of our world. From the medieval Swiss Alps to the nineteenth-century Australian bush, from a hotel in Shanghai to a Manhattan townhouse in the near future, their stories come together in moments of everyday grace and extraordinary wonder.

BridgeofSpiesBridge of Spies by Giles Whittell (ebook, 99p)

Bridge of Spies is a gripping, entertaining, hair-raising and comical story, which moves effortlessly from the hardware of high-flying planes and new missiles to the geopolitics of the nuclear stand-off and through the poignant personal stories of its central protagonists: Powers, the all-American hero, blacklisted for not having killed himself on his descent to earth; a KGB spy who has spent aimless and lonely years achieving nothing in the US; and the opposing leaders Khrushchev and Eisenhower, both trapped in a spiral of confrontation neither wants.

TheLiberationThe Liberation by Kate Furnivall (ebook, 99p)

The Liberation is set in Italy in 1945 as British and American troops attempt to bring order to the devastated country and Italy’s population fights to survive. Caterina Lombardi is desperate – her father is dead, her mother has disappeared and her brother is being drawn towards danger. One morning, among the ruins of the bombed Naples streets, Caterina is forced to go to extreme lengths to protect her own life and in doing so forges a future in which she must clear her father’s name. An Allied Army officer accuses him of treason and Caterina discovers a plot against her family. Who can she trust and who is the real enemy now? And will the secrets of the past be her downfall? This epic novel is an unforgettably powerful story of love, loss and the long shadow of war.

FirstoftheTudorsFirst of the Tudors by Joanna Hickson (ebook, 99p)

Jasper Tudor, son of Queen Catherine and her second husband, Owen Tudor, has grown up far from the intrigue of the royal court. But after he and his brother Edmund are summoned to London, their half-brother, King Henry VI, takes a keen interest in their future. Bestowing Earldoms on them both, Henry also gives them the wardship of the young heiress Margaret Beaufort. Although she is still a child, Jasper becomes devoted to her and is devastated when Henry arranges her betrothal to Edmund. He seeks solace in his estates and in the arms of Jane Hywel, a young Welsh woman who offers him something more meaningful than a dynastic marriage. But passion turns to jeopardy for them both as the Wars of the Roses wreak havoc on the realm. Loyal brother to a fragile king and his domineering queen, Marguerite of Anjou, Jasper must draw on all his guile and courage to preserve their throne − and the Tudor destiny…

ManipulatedLivesManipulated Lives by H. A. Leuschel (ebook, review copy courtesy of the author)

Manipulators are everywhere. In this collection of short novellas, you meet people like you and me, intent on living happy lives, yet each of them, in one way or another, is caught up and damaged by a manipulative individual. First you meet a manipulator himself, trying to make sense of his irreversible incarceration. Next, there is Tess, whose past is haunted by a wrong decision, then young, successful and well balanced Sophie, who is drawn into the life of a little boy and his troubled father. Next, there is teenage Holly, who is intent on making a better life for herself and finally Lisa, who has to face a parent’s biggest regret. All stories highlight to what extent abusive manipulation can distort lives and threaten our very feeling of self-worth.

IfWeWereVillainsIf We Were Villains by M L Rio (paperback, Goodreads giveaway prize)

Oliver Marks has just served ten years for a murder he may or may not have committed. On the day of his release, he is greeted by the detective who put him in prison. Detective Colborne is retiring, and he wants to know what really happened a decade before. As a young actor at an elite conservatory, Oliver noticed that his talented classmates seem to play the same characters onstage and off – villain, hero, temptress – though he was always a supporting role. But when the teachers change the casting, a good-natured rivalry turns ugly, and the plays spill dangerously over into real life. When tragedy strikes, one of the seven friends is found dead. The rest face their greatest acting challenge yet: convincing the police, and themselves, that they are blameless…

TogetherTogether by Julie Cohen (hardcover signed by the author, purchase)

This is not a great love story. This is a story about great love. On a morning that seems just like any other, Robbie wakes in his bed, his wife Emily asleep beside him, as always. He rises and dresses, makes his coffee, feeds his dogs, just as he usually does. But then he leaves Emily a letter and does something that will break her heart. As the years go back all the way to 1962, Robbie’s actions become clearer as we discover the story of a couple with a terrible secret – one they will do absolutely anything to protect.

TheWordisMurderThe Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz (eARC, NetGalley)

A wealthy woman strangled six hours after she’s arranged her own funeral. A very private detective uncovering secrets but hiding his own. A reluctant author drawn into a story he can’t control. What do they have in common? Unexpected death, an unsolved mystery and a trail of bloody clues lie at the heart of Anthony Horowitz’s page-turning new thriller. SPREAD THE WORD. THE WORD IS MURDER


On What Cathy Read Next last week

Book Reviews

On Monday I took part in the blog tour for Court of Lions by Jane Johnson, sharing my review of this fascinating story set in 15th century and present day Granada.   Wednesday saw my review of Revenants: The Odyssey Home by Scott Kauffman. I’ve been trying to concentrate on reducing my stack of review copies from authors and this was one off of the pile! On Thursday I shared my review of the wonderful Shelter by Sarah Franklin, a beautiful story set in The Forest of Dean during WW2.   I shared two reviews on Friday – the first, The Dream Shelf by Jeff Russell, was another off of my author review pile and the second, The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West, was from my Classics Club Challenge list. Finally, earlier today I published my review of The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, another book on my Classics Club Challenge list.

Other posts

On Monday I shared my Five Favourite June Reads and on Tuesday I took part in the book blitz for Paintbrush by Hanna Bucchin, a fun YA novel that attracted a lot of attention because of its gorgeous cover.   Wednesday is WWW Wednesday, where I and other book bloggers share what we’ve been reading, are currently reading and plan to read next. The following day I took part in the Throwback Thursday meme for the first time, sharing a review from the early days of my blog – Upton Sinclair’s Worlds End. On Saturday I was thrilled to feature a guest post from Kate Hewitt, author of Marry Me At Willoughby Close. Finally, I posed the question to other bloggers – Are You Polygamous or Monogamous (when it comes to books, naturally).

Challenge updates

  • Goodreads 2017 Reading Challenge – 85 out of 78 books read, 3 more than last week. I still need to set that new target….
  • Classics Club Challenge– 4 out of 50 books reviewed (2 more than last week)
  • NetGalley/Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2017 (Gold) – 38 ARCs reviewed out of 50 (same as last week)
  • From Page to Screen 2017– 7 book/film comparisons out of 12 completed (same as last week)
  • The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction Shortlist 2017 – Completed

On What Cathy Read Next this week

Currently reading


Planned posts

  • Book Review: The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde by Eve Chase
  • Book Review: The Girl in the Glass Tower by Elizabeth Fremantle
  • Blog Tour/Q&A: Surviving the Fatherland by Annette Oppenlander
  • Book Review: Wake Me when I’m Gone by Odafe Atogun
  • Blog Tour/Q&A: Tremarnock Summer by Emma Burstall
  • Q&A: Shelter by Sarah Franklin

Reviews to be added to NetGalley

  • The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde by Eve Chase