Showing posts from August, 2013

In which I get distracted and forget my camera

I have spent most of the past month on a holiday of sorts, I say of sorts because as a mum for nearly fourteen years now I know well that there are no holidays. My self the hubby and the three kids have been galavanting about the countryside and the city visiting museums, galleries and historical sites. We spent a long time looking at this famous Renoir Painting Les Parapluies

which is part of a group of impressionist paintings shared between The National Gallery in London and the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin. It recently returned to the Hugh Lane and will be on display for the next six years. Do go and have a look, the gallery is fascinating and there is no admission charge. 
My eldest daughter Chlöe and I also visited Newgrange and Knowth in The Boyne Valley. Visiting the monuments requires two separate tours from the centre but I urge everyone to see both as Knowth is if anything even more fascinating than the more famous Newgrange, both pictures below are of Knowth. (Images borrow…

August Aquistions

Bought, Won and Received for Review this month

An eclectic mix featuring Gothic Victoriana from Diane Setterfield, author of The Thirteenth Tale one of my favourite books of all time. More Historical Fiction from Seventeenth Century France by Jean Teulé and Sixteenth Century England by Jane Borodale. Also Conn Iggulden's take on The Wars of the Roses. Debut novels from Frances Osborne, Justin Quinn, R.S. Pateman and Kimberley McCreight. Werewolf urban fantasy from Martin Millar, the new Ruth Galloway mystery from Elly Griffiths, Muriel Bolger's fascinating literary tour of Dublin and the intriguing and beautifully packaged Night Film by Marisha Pessl. Along with all of the above my brilliant book club are reading Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier another favourite of mine. So if you need me I'll be reading.

Kiss Me First by Lottie Moggach

Lottie Moggach's first novel was the subject of a bidding war between eleven different publishers, she had a lot of pressure on her as the daughter of bestselling novelist and a real favourite of mine; Deborah Moggach (check out Deborah's hilarious rules for writing here) I wondered whether the daughter would live up to the promise of the mother. I can certainly say that Lottie's book is as good as some of Deborah's work though not as good as my favourite Tulip Fever but that's probably because she writes in a very different style and that's not a bad thing, just a different thing.  Kiss Me First fits neatly in the category of post Gone Girl female led thrillers. There seems at the moment to be a shift towards a darker edge in contemporary women's fiction and I don't think there is any sense that writers are jumping on the bandwagon, rather writers are simply responding to the zeitgeist and the sex and shopping and cosy humour at either end of the scal…

Holiday Reads Part Three Contemporary/Crime/Thriller and everything else

Last one some contemporary reads

Dying Fall- Elly Griffiths Reconstructing Amelia- Kimberley McCreight Love is the Easy Bit- Mary Grehan How to be a Good Wife- Emma Chapman Penelope- Rebecca Harrington The Shining Girls- Lauren Beukes The Sea Change- Joanna Rossiter The Sea Sisters- Lucy Clarke Alex- Pierre Lemaitre

Hardbacks and Trade Paperbacks The Incredible Life of Jonathan Doe- Carol Coffey My Father's House- Bethany Dawson The Second Life of Amy Archer- RS Pateman Dot- Araminta Hall An Englishwoman in New York- Anne-Marie Casey The Doll's House- Louise Phillips

Non Fiction Possessed by The Devil- Andrew Sneddon ( The History of the Islandmagee Witches) Flappers- Judith Macrell (Six extraordinary women of The Jazz Age)

Holiday Reading Part Two Historical Fiction

I apologise for the dealy in posting this up but I was surprise, surprise on holidays and doing lots of reading. Here is my round up of the best Historical Fiction which has been recently published but I have not yet gotten a chance to review. Do let me know if there is anything you would recommend from the list.

Out Now in Paperback  A Dangerous Inheritance- Alison Weir (Tudor era) Citadel- Kate Mosse (WW2 France) Merivel -Rose Tremain (Restoration England) The Secret Keeper- Kate Morton (1960s England) Ratlines- Stuart Neville (WW2 Germany 1960s Ireland) Beautiful Ruins- Jess Walter (1960s Italy) The Daughters of Mars- Thomas Keneally (WW1) Tigers in Red Weather- Liza Klausman (WW2 and after) The Pleasures of Men- Kate Williams (Victorian)  The Girl in Berlin- Elizabeth Wilson (1950s Britain and Germany) My Life in Black and White- Kim Izzo (Contemporary and 1950s) Mistress of the Sea- Jenny Barden (Sixteenth Century) The Memory of Lost Senses- Judith Kinghorn (early 20th century) P…

The Bone Season

Samantha Shannon is being hailed as the new J. K. Rowling and having been given the chance to read her first novel I can see why. The Bone Season blends fantasy and dystopia and is darker and bloodier than Harry Potter or The Hunger Games to which it has also been compared. Our 19 year old heroine Paige Mahoney is tough as nails and living a double life; while her father works for the government, unknown to him she works for the criminal underworld using her clairvoyant skills which the government of Scion have declared illegal. It is 2059 and Britain as we know it no longer exists and is now under totalitarian rule, Paige is already an outsider as she hails from Ireland and through her memories we catch glimpses of her past there. Paige is attacked and kidnapped and finds herself a prisoner in Oxford, a city controlled by the Rephaim, a non-human race who have invaded Scion and are using voyants to control the Scion government and fight their own enemies. Here Paige is trained and im…

Holiday Reads Part One Fantasy

So its August and if you haven't already done so I'm sure some of you may be thinking of getting away for a few days or even just a for a quiet afternoon in the garden to read and relax. All of the summer reads are available now but what do you choose? Fear not I am here to help. Check out my essential reading lists divided by genre and hopefully you will spot something that will relax, entertain or enthrall you.

Fantasy Fiction
The Golem and the Djinni by Helene Wecker. Harper Collins HB
Perfect for fans of The Night Circus and A Discovery of Witches the story blends 1899 New York with Arabian mythology and Kabbalistic magic in a tale of love, community, friendship and self sacrifice.
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon Bloomsbury (20th August) HB
21 one year old author Samantha Shannon is already being hailed as the next J.K Rowling. This book is the first in a projected series of Seven set in an alternate future where clairvoyance has been outlawed, Irish born Paige is livi…