August Wrap Up!

 

A new month and it’s September!  Been a lovely relaxing summer but with the return to Uni and college for my two, the good old work/life routine returns for the 4 of us.

Still plenty of time for reading thought, right??!!  Racing through Elevator Pitch by Linwood Barclay at the moment as his books are always so easy to sink straight into.

Here’s at quick look at the books I managed to read over August.  Four physical books, four e-books and one audio book from the library.

the claim

Evan Cadwallader comes across the almost dead body of a young woman while panning for gold at his inherited claim in the foothills of New Zealand’s southern Alps.
He carries her back to his cottage and as he nurses her back to health, gradually pieces together the story of her life. Evan is torn between his growing feelings for Addie and the pull of his claim, but as the gold begins to flow, they draw ever closer to each other and for a few glorious weeks they thrive. But, like the weather, all must break and what started out blissfully, soon turns sinister.
Set during one claustrophobic summer, against a remote and beautiful backdrop, this is a novel about love, loss and companionship that will shimmer under the surface of your thoughts for months to come.

A very understated book that shines in atmosphere as much as the gold Evan is trying to find.   4/5  Review scheduled on the blog next week.

my friend anna

This is the true story of Anna Delvey, the fake heiress whose dizzying deceit and elaborate con-artistry deceived the Soho hipster scene before her ruse was finally and dramatically exposed.

After meeting through mutual friends, the ‘Russian heiress’ Anna Delvey and Rachel DeLoache Williams soon became inseparable. Theirs was an intoxicating world of endless excess: high dining, personal trainer sessions, a luxury holiday … and Anna footed almost every bill.

But after Anna’s debit card was declined in a Moroccan medina whilst on holiday in a five-star luxury resort, Rachel began to suspect that her increasingly mysterious friend was not all she seemed.

This is the incredible story of how Anna Sorokin conned the high-rollers of the NYC social scene and convinced her close friend of an entirely concocted fantasy, the product of falsified bank documents, bad cheques and carefully edited online photos.

I don’t read much non-fiction but really enjoyed this.  I was lucky to win a hard back, signed copy in a competition on Instagram and was so glad I did.  It reads like fiction and had a great pace to it. Check it out! 4/5  Reviewed on the blog here:  https://babbageandsweetcorn.wordpress.com/2019/09/10/my-friend-anna-by-rachel-deloache-williams

 

the temp of gracie amazon

When Gracie Burton stumbles upon an advertisement for a week-long cookery course in the heart of the Tuscan countryside,she cannot resist, and ploughs her life savings into the trip.

Her only family – daughter Carina and granddaughter Anastasia – are hesitant about what has prompted this seemingly random venture. But they have no sense of Gracie’s past; of what could possibly be calling her to Italy. They have no idea that Gracie is harbouring the secret of an extraordinary life that preceded them . . .

I’ve had this on my shelf for sometime so when we had a week away this summer I decided to take it with me.  I great easy holiday read that takes you off to the sunshine and landscape of Tuscany! Now that can’t be a bad thing, right?  3/5 Review coming soon.

the art of dying

Edinburgh, 1849. Despite Edinburgh being at the forefront of modern medicine, hordes of patients are dying all across the city, with doctors finding their remedies powerless. But it is not just the deaths that dismay the esteemed Dr James Simpson. A whispering campaign seeks to blame him for the death of a patient in suspicious circumstances.

Simpson’s protégé Will Raven and former housemaid Sarah Fisher are determined to clear their patron’s name. But with Raven battling against the dark side of his own nature, and Sarah endeavouring to expand her own medical knowledge beyond what society deems acceptable for a woman, the pair struggle to understand the cause of the deaths.

Will and Sarah must unite and plunge into Edinburgh’s deadliest streets to clear Simpson’s name. But soon they discover that the true cause of these deaths has evaded suspicion purely because it is so unthinkable.

I was thrilled to get this gorgeous hard back copy through the post from the publishers. I really enjoyed The Way Of All Flesh and Fallen Angel so I couldn’t wait to read this. A great read! 4/5  Review over on the blog here: https://babbageandsweetcorn.wordpress.com/2019/08/29/the-art-of-dying-by-ambrose-parry

 

rewind

PLAY
Andrew, the manager of Shanamore Holiday Cottages, watches his only guest via a hidden camera in her room. One night the unthinkable happens: a shadowy figure emerges onscreen, kills her and destroys the camera. But who is the murderer? How did they know about the camera? And how will Andrew live with himself?

PAUSE
Natalie wishes she’d stayed at home as soon as she arrives in the wintry isolation of Shanamore. There’s something creepy about the manager. She wants to leave, but she can’t – not until she’s found what she’s looking for…

REWIND
This is an explosive story about a murder caught on camera. You’ve already missed the start. To get the full picture you must rewind the tape and play it through to the end, no matter how shocking…

I raced through this one.  Quick to get going which I like in a thriller and really enjoyable. 4/5  Review coming next week.

stop at nothing

Tess has always tried to be a good mother. Of course, there are things she wishes she’d done differently, but doesn’t everyone feel that way?

Then Emma, her youngest, is attacked on her way home from a party, plunging them into a living nightmare which only gets worse when the man responsible is set free.

So when Tess sees the attacker in the street near their home, she is forced to take matters into her own hands. But blinded by her need to protect her daughter at any cost, might she end up putting her family in even greater danger?

I’ve read a few of Tammy’s books now including those under the name Rachel Rhys and although this wasn’t a favourite for me as I found the first half a little slow to get going, the second half was much more enjoyable. 3/5

the woman

1968. Veronica Moon, a junior photographer for a local newspaper, is frustrated by her (male) colleagues’ failure to take her seriously. And then she meets Leonie on the picket line of the Ford factory at Dagenham. So begins a tumultuous, passionate and intoxicating friendship. Leonie is ahead of her time and fighting for women’s equality with everything she has. She offers Veronica an exciting, free life at the dawn of a great change.

Fifty years later, Leonie is gone, and Veronica leads a reclusive life. Her groundbreaking career was cut short by one of the most famous photographs of the twentieth century.

Now, that controversial picture hangs as the centrepiece of a new feminist exhibition curated by Leonie’s niece. Long-repressed memories of Veronica’s extraordinary life begin to stir. It’s time to break her silence, and step back into the light.

I read this as a buddy read and really enjoyed the chats we had about this one.  Would make a great book club read. Well written and really interesting. 4/5  Review on the blog here: https://babbageandsweetcorn.wordpress.com/2019/08/27/the-woman-in-the-photograph-by-stephanie-butland

villa

Carla Sullivan’s 50th birthday is fast approaching when her whole world is turned upside down. Discovering her feckless husband is having yet another affair and following her mother’s death, she is in need of an escape. Finding an envelope addressed to her mother’s estranged sister Josette in the South of France gives Carla the perfect plan.

Seizing the moment, she packs her bags and heads to Antibes to seek out the enigma known as Tante Josette. But as the two women begin to forge a tentative relationship, family secrets start to unravel, forcing Carla to question her life as she has always known it.

I took part in the blog tour for this book and found it a delightful read.  I’d not read anything by this author before but thoroughly enjoyed this one. Pure escapism. 3.5/5  Review over on the blog here: https://babbageandsweetcorn.wordpress.com/2019/08/11/villa-of-sun-and-secrets-by-jennifer-bohnet-blog-tour

watching you audio

You’re back home after four years working abroad, new husband in tow.

You’re keen to find a place of your own. But for now you’re crashing in your big brother’s spare room.

That’s when you meet the man next door.

He’s the head teacher at the local school. Twice your age. Extraordinarily attractive. You find yourself watching him.

All the time.

But you never dreamed that your innocent crush might become a deadly obsession.

Or that someone is watching you.

 

This was a great one to listen to via an audio book.  The pace and tension was high throughout plus good characters which were explored through and around the story line. Well narrated too. 3.5/5

 

That’s it for August reads.  Got a lovely September TBR pile awaiting including some great new releases.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sarah x

 

 

 

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