August 17, 2017

Mid August Bookhaul

Okay now.  I know it's been a shitty couple of days in US politics (wish I could turn on the TV, Twitter, or any news program and NOT hear about Trump!) and you'd think living in Australia it would be okay, but no.  It's all over the freaking media.  So, I'm avoiding most of it via old Agatha Christie movies.  There nothing like a sweet Miss Marple mystery to throw all things Trump out of your head.

On the book front, I've received a lot of books in the mail over the last week.  Most of them were either my usual Stephen King hardcovers that I'm attempting to collect, or a handful of books that Sophie {HERE} made me buy because she made them sound so amazing!  One of the pitfalls of booktube - all the recommendations.  I'm like a kid in a candy shop ;-D

So, I hope you enjoy this haul.  I'm still waiting on some overdue parcels, but hopefully they will arrived soon and I can start planning my August Wrap Up.

Let me know if you've read any of these books.  I'd like to hear what you thought of it.

And until next time,

July 31, 2017

July wrap up

Hello, my lovelies!  

It's been a little while, hasn't it?  Finally gotten my butt into gear and filmed a short wrap up of what I read in July as well as the books that came my way over the last week.  It wasn't until this video was up that I realized that I'd forgotten to haul 4 books.  Feeling like a complete and total dingleberry, but I'll add them to next months bookmail ;-D

Almost finished NOS4R2 by Joe Hill.  I think I'll have to make a quick review video for that too.  Now that I've finally joined the 21st century - and BookTube - I feel like there are numerous idea's that I'd like to do video's on.  Not practical at the moment (still using webcam on desktop), but I have my fingers crossed that Santa might rectify this situation for Christmas!

Anyway, have to dash.  Have a lot of cleaning to do around the house before it starts to get cold again.  Would rather be reading!

Let me know below if you have read NOS4R2, and what you think my next Joe Hill read should be.  I do like his style.

And until next time,

July 22, 2017

Yet another SK book haul

Hello, my lovelies!

Yes, here is yet another smallish bookmail bookhaul of Kingly titles (with two Jasper Fforde books as well).  I'm loving these Hodder covers and hope to collect the majority of them in the future.

Let me know in the comments what your favourite Stephen King find of late is.

And until next time,

July 21, 2017

Bookmail loveliness

It's always exciting to get stuff in the mail - well, not those envelopes with windows, but the good stuff.  Parcels.

I will admit to buying a decent number of Stephen King books recently, and most of them have been arriving in dribs and drabs.  Doesn't matter, I love it!

There is nothing quite like opening up a parcel that contains a book you've been looking forward to adding to your collection.  Most of the books have been in good, or better, condition - with a couple of notable exceptions (but that's another post).

At the moment I'm trying to find as many of the Hodder editions as I can because I like the interesting cover designs and the way they will all be a uniform size on my shelves { mismatched sizes are a big bookish pet peeve of mine } and the rainbow spines will look great.  Well, once I get a bookcase for my King collection.

So I will continue to buy used King books.  I'm still trying to source some of the harder to find titles, although recently I was abke to get The Stand, Cujo, Pet Sematary and Christine in the Hodder covers.

Next challenge is to find some first editions, or at least an imprint from the year of release.  Have a few, but some have just been eluding me so it's nearly time to start the hunt in earnest.

So until next time,

July 11, 2017

Stephen King Mini Book Haul

Had a pile of books arrive yesterday, so I thought that I'd do a quick book haul video.  Forgive any mistakes, I'm still trying to get a handle on the filming - using webcam for the moment - and editing, but I'm having fun so that's the main objective ;-D

There are more King books on their way, so I'll be doing more SK hauls in the near future.

So until next time,

July 6, 2017

The Stand Reading Update #1

Hi there!  Here's a quick video where I ramble on about The Stand by Stephen King.  I'm enjoying my foray into this post-pandemic landscape.  While it's not exactly how I had imagined it, I am flying through the chapters.

I will hopefully get another update done before I make a full review.

Let me know in the comments if you've read The Stand, and what you through of it.  Do you have a dream cast?  Let me know below ;-D 

 And until next time,

June Used Book Haul

Hello, my lovelies!

Yes, I have finally joined BookTube - well, new to posting videos anyway ;-D

My used book haul is the third video that I've posted.  I'm still getting used to some things, and I keep forgetting exactly where to hold up the book so it shows the full cover at times, but I'm enjoying this new (to me) way of sharing my love of books.

This is not a King haul, but I'll be hoping to have a reading update of The Stand up at some point in the near future as that it a chunker!

Hope you enjoy my foray into BookTube, and until next time,

June 29, 2017

A King Quickie

Hello, my lovelies!

I have a new video up!  Yes, I've finally joined the BookTube crowd.  Not sure how it'll go, but it hasn't been too torturous editing video's so far ;-D

This one is just a few King bits and bobs that have come my way this week. 

Have a lot more King books en-route to me from various places around the world, and will make a video as often as possible.

Until next time,

June 4, 2017

We all float

It's now June, so I've started rereading IT for the first time in over 25 years!  I can't believe its been so long since I've read this book.  I was going to read it before seeing the remake due out in September, but when I saw that @jobis89 was doing a readalong on IG (#weallfloatreadalong) I knew I had to join in.

At the moment I'm 170 pages in (out of a whopping 1153!) and I'm realizing that I have forgotten quite a bit of the details surrounding the characters.  So far all the Losers have been contacted in 1985 by Mike, and we're now being taken back to 1958 for what I assume will be a not so pleasant walk down memory lane.

I tried reading outside on the lawn yesterday but a neighbours mowing put the kybosh on that.  Pondered trying again today as the weather is gorgeous - if bloody cold - but other neighbour has since jumped on his ride-on mower so I guess I'll just settle down on the couch in a nest of blankets while I catch up.

Fingers crossed I can get a chunk of this read today.  Need to get back into the King shelf and read more.  Perhaps I'll even tackle The Stand later this year?

Do you have a favourite King novel?  Let me know in the comments 😄

And until next time,

May 17, 2017

And the books trickle in

This is the week that the books from my PEL binge should arrive - and indeed they have started to trickle in.  I walk down the road to my cute little post office every day to check the mail and yesterday the first of the PEL editions turned up.  Wuthering Heights by Emily BrontĂ« and David Copperfield by Charles Dickens both arrived in amazing condition.  

However, the copy of Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy was in less than desirable condition {as you can tell from the webcam shot above}.  The front cover was all bent and smushed and there is obvious crinkling of the pages throughout the book.  Not what I expected when I ordered this

Thankfully today's package made up for that disappointment.  All the books that arrived in the post this morning were in excellent condition Hard Times, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Mill on the Floss and Sons and Lovers - and all had that rubberized texture that I love!  So I will bury my disappointment over the poorer condition of Tess because, truthfully, that could have happened while the books were in transit, and instead bookgasm over my growing PEL collection.

I can't wait to get my new bookcase so I can line up all these amazing spines on the shelf ;-D

Do you collect these gorgeouse PEL editions?  Let me know what your favourite cover design is.  The covers I'd love to get my hands on are Pamela by Samuel Richardson and The Monk by Matthew Lewis... oh, and Bleak House, The Pickwick Papers, Martin Chuzzlewit and The Old Curiosity Shop by Dickens.  Hmmm, Daniel Deronda by George Eliot and perhaps The Return of the Native by Hardy.  Okay, basically I want most of them! ;-D  But unfortunately they are Out of Print (OOP) and waaaaay too expensive to purchase second hand (over $200!).  Too rich for my blood.

Hmmm, I sense another post in my future - why aren't all the PEL titles still available?  ;-D

I'm off to reorganize my shelves so I can fit these babies in, but until next time,

May 7, 2017

Book Review | Oh Danny Boy

Oh Danny Boy
A Molly Murphy Mystery #5
Rhys Bowen

First published in 2006
This edition published in 2015

Constable, paperback (format B), 359p.
ISBN: 9781472118417

How can Molly keep the man she wants out of her life out of jail, for although he may be a love rat, he's certainly no murderer!

Irish immigrant Molly Murphy is contemplating giving up PI work for something a little less . . . exciting.  Molly has had quite enough recently - especially from the handsome but frustrating NYPD captain Daniel Sullivan.  She wants him out of her life for good.  But when Daniel is accused of accepting bribes and lands himself in the Tombs, the notorious city jail, he begs Molly to help prove he was framed.  After everything they've been through together, how can she turn him down?

As Molly finds herself drawn further into Daniel's case, she begins to fear that his trouble is related to one of his investigations: catching a serial killer who is targeting prostitutes, known as the East Side Ripper . . .

{Note: I wrote this yesterday at the coffee shop}

I read Oh Danny Boy this morning.  I then got ready and headed off into town to meet some family, and while I waited for them at the coffee shop I thought I'd write down a few thoughts on the book while it was still fresh in my mind - only I drew a blank!

Yes, not only had I finished the book less than 40 minutes ago, but I could not remember anything.  Not even the title.  This only lasted about 20 seconds, but I seriously had to mentally review the books I'd received in the mail this week for the title to come to mind.  I can't remember this happening to me before, and it says a lot about what I thought of this story - forgettable.

ODB seems to pick up a couple of weeks after the events of In Like Flynn (#4) and although I do like Molly, the collection of misfits and bohemians she surrounds herself with do rather test my patience at times.  Gus and Sid would have to be my favourite of the friends.  But by far the most annoying character for me is the stereotypical Irish charmer, Daniel Sullivan.  His attitude and behaviour stinks.  While he doesn't want to hurt his fiancĂ© feelings or cause her any humiliation in breaking their engagement.  However by doing this, and stringing Molly along, he has just hurt and humiliated the woman he claims to love!  When Molly runs home after the final events of the previous book, she keeps Daniel out of her life, binning his daily missives - only to find out he's in the clink.  So, Molly being Molly, sets out to clear Daniel's name.  I applauded her decision to rid herself of the charming rogue, but it seems like you can't have a cosy mystery these days without the obligatory star-crossed lovers who must overcome numerous obstacles, blah, blah, blah.  Pure claptrap (although it does zest up the subplots).

The mystery of who set up Daniel is neatly solved, but only after Molly has a few close calls, and has to venture into the seedier parts of town.  Her dedication to this man is frustrating.  He doesn't mind calling on her to get him out of a jam, but No! Women should not be detectives or PI's!  Argggh!  I can't wait for Molly to spring a certain bit of news on him in the next book (which I may borrow from my library?) because I would love to see his reaction.

So while I haven't read the first couple of books, and I enjoyed (?) In Like Flynn, I'm not sure if I enjoyed ODB well enough to continue on buying the books.  Admittedly, I only have the two I've mentioned in this post (Murphy's Law is on it's way though), but I'm not sure that this is the cosy series for me.  I could be wrong and once this issue about them being together is sorted it could be great so I will cautiously be reading further books in the series from my local library as they become available.

Sadly, Oh Danny Boy was not the amazing comeuppance I thought it would be for a certain NYPD Captain - and for that fact I've given this book

Well, those were my thoughts on Oh Danny Boy.  I wish I had enjoyed the book more as the cover is gorgeous!  Have you reading this series?  Let me know what you think of Molly and Daniel's relationship in the comments below.  I'd love to hear your thoughts.

And until next time,

May 5, 2017

Book Review | All The Little Liars

US Hardcover edition
All The Little Liars
Aurora Teagarden #9
Charlaine Harris

Published in Hardcover 2016
This edition published in January 2017

PIAKUS, paperback (format B), 244p.
ISBN: 9780349416236

Librarian Aurora Teagarden is basking in the news of her pregnancy when disaster strikes her small town: four children, including her fifteen-year-old brother, Philip, have vanished from the school football field. What's even more worrisome is the dead body found at their last known location. While the local police comb the county for the missing children, Aurora and her new husband, true crime writer Robin Crusoe, begin their own investigation. Could the two incidents have something to do with a group of school bullies? Are Aurora's father's gambling debts related to the disappearance of her brother? Or could it be that Philip himself, new to town and relatively unknown, is the one responsible? With Christmas approaching, Aurora is determined to find her brother ...if he's still alive. 

When Poppy Done to Death came out I was okay that the series wrapped up with Aurora's news.  It was done, complete, and I didn't need more.  Fast forward thirteen years (!!) and the news dropped that Charlaine Harris was continuing her Aurora Teagarden series and although I was excited - she is a great character - my main thoughts were "why?".  

Flash forward, again, to yesterday when I received the paperback edition in the mail.  Instead of jumping right in and devouring it as soon as I'd opened the package, it just sat on the coffee table where I'd placed it.  As I cleaned up before going to bed, I picked it up and put in on the bedside table thinking that I'd look at it at some point.  Then, when I was all snug under the blankets, I realized that I hadn't brought in the book I was hoping to read and instead All The Little Liars was there so I grabbed it and started to read...

... and nintey minutes later I was done.

It was OK.  Really, nothing style-wise had changed in the 13 intervening years.  All the characters felt the same, Aurora, Robin, Phillip, Aida and John, Phil and Betty Jo.  A similar style of mystery coupled with Aurora's inability to leave well enough alone... well, you know how it goes.  Basically, this could have been written 12 years ago for it felt so familiar.

However, there were two differences - Aurora's pregnancy, and her finally standing up to her father and his ex-wife, Betty Jo.  Now, we all knew going in that Aurora was pregnant - this little tidbit dropped in the last book - but Aurora had never stood up to her father about his shitty attitude and lack of responsibility towards his offspring or spouses.  Oh, she may have thought about the things that she'd like to have said, but they never passed her lips... until this book.  It is probably the biggest change in her character.  Is it only because she's pregnant that she's grown assured enough to finally speak her mind?  Well, I'll find out in the next book if it's a character trait that will stick.  I hope it does because self assured Aurora is pretty damn great.

Of the mystery itself, that was well done.  I had an inkling who might have been involved, and I was sort of right.  The disappearance of Phillip and friends was a great way to reintroduce Phillip to the readers, as well as his lackluster parents.  In earlier books Phil and Betty Jo came off as sanctimonious prats, but now the blinders are off and we see them for the self absorbed jerks they are.  I wasn't surprised to find out that Phil was in hot water with gambling debts to some rather unsavory characters (hmmm, will this be a future story arc perhaps?) or that Betty Jo had run off to a commune to get away from not only Phil, but the repercussions of his gambling strife.  Great potential drama, but not worth the aggravation.  I'm really hoping that we don't see more of them in future books.

So while All The Little Liars was a fast paced book, there was just something about it that left me feeling a tad disappointed.  It's been almost 24 hours since I finished it, and I still haven't been able to pinpoint where it fell down for me.  All the elements were there, but for some reason I just wasn't as into it as I'd expected to be.  I'm really hoping that's because I've been reading so many cosy books recently that it's just cosy overload.  I'm definitely going to be rereading this (and all the previous books) before the release of book 10 later this year.

For now, I give All The Little Liars

I hope you enjoyed my quick first thoughts on All The Little Liars.  Let me know in the comments if you have read it, and what your thoughts were about Charlaine Harris picking up the series 13 years later? 

Until next time, my lovelies

May 2, 2017

Book Review | Cheerful Weather for the Wedding

Cheerful Weather for the Wedding
Persephone Books #38
Julia Strachey

First published in 1932 by Hogarth Press
This edition published in 2011 by Persephone Books

Persephone Books, paperback, 119p.
ISBN: 9781906462079

It is a brisk English March day, and Dolly is getting ready to marry the wrong man. Waylaid by the sulking admirer who lost his chance, an astonishingly oblivious mother bustling around and making a fuss, and her own sinking dread, the bride-to-be struggles to reach the altar.

Well, this what not at all what I expected.  After watching a few book reviews on YouTube, I was expecting to find a book seething with emotion, angst and drama - instead I got a story that centers around an oddball family as they muddle their way through the morning of Dolly Thatcham's wedding.

Dolly seems to float through the events under a haze of rum, and Joseph (the ex) hangs around the house like a stray dog, while her family is just tedious.   Little sister Kitty is a gaudy, poor imitation of her beautiful elder sister, and is starting to become man crazy.  The descriptions of her makeup alone would send any gentleman running in the opposite direction!  Then you come across the terrible twosome - her brothers, Robert and Tom.  Robert is continuously going on about Captain Blood, or telling his OCD brother, Tom, to "...go and put your head in a bag." as Tom continuously nags, and manhandles, his brother about changing his socks of all things!  Very odd.

Mrs Thatcham is a disaster as organizer of the household during this stressful time.  She mixed up her buffet orders, double books bedrooms (so to speak, but with funny results), and is oblivious to anything but the goal of marrying off her daughter.

In one of my favourite scenes, Joseph finally unloads on Mrs Thatchum in regards to what Dolly did last summer.  It was probably made up, but there was almost a malicious hint of truth to parts of it that would have made a great addition, and twist, if the story had of been longer.  We only see Owen, the groom, once and that is at the end when Dolly and Joseph were arguing alone in a room and he barges in at the wrong moment.  There is such potential in this book and it is frustrating to see great moments fall by the wayside.

At only 119 pages, I sped through this.  The writing was simple and straightforward, the plot uncomplicated, but that lack of emotion and drama - especially when the ex turns up desperate to speak with the bride before her wedding! - was strange.  Where was the alcohol fueled rant from Dolly about her current situation?  About her discovering that Joseph, the ex, was there?  The wavering of courage and doubt about walking down the aisle?  There was none of that.

So, while not what I was hoping for, CWFTW was still an entertaining way to spend an hour of so, and has me intrigued enough to track down a copy of the adaptation to see what the changed, and how they adapted this into a full length movie.

I'm not sure if I'll collect any more Persephone Books.  They are crazy expensive, especially in Australia, but if you could recommend one last book I should buy what would it be?  Leave a comment and let me know ;-D

And until next time,

May 1, 2017

Pre-birthday splurge

Yeah.  So, this was a thing over the weekend.  Money has been a little tight - still have to pay my electricity and telephone bill this week - but with my birthday coming up I wanted to treat myself to a book or two since my family don't buy me books because they are never sure what I've got, or want to read.  

Enter the smart phone.  I was browsing the Book Depository and Awesome Books websites on Saturday night and after about an hour of idle searching it was a shock to discover that I had 10 books heading my way!  Okay, two were for my mum for Mother's Day, but daammmmn!

Sunday afternoon.  I'm online again and poddling about Awesome Books - again! - adding books to my wishlist (and the cart) when I hit on the 'genius' idea of buying up some more Penguin English Library (PEL) editions to add to my collection.  Yeah, really bright idea.  Bought a further 8 books, and then jumped on AbeBooks to find some OOP PEL editions and ended up spending more money as I found two (and bought a third book anyway)!

So, here is a list of what I bought on this birthday binge of shame...

As you can see, I must have lost my mind for a few hours!  In truth, these are books that I've wanted for a long time - and that I will be reading in the future - so I don't feel too guilty about buying them as a majority of them are used books in great condition.  However, I probably could have timed this splurge better ;-D

In the meantime, I have not been reading as much as I would like.  Everyday chores like laundry, mowing the lawn, gardening, cooking, etc., have been a priority.  Hoping to read Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen this month.  I read Emma last May and loved it, so finger's crossed I have the same reaction to S&S.

Since I've spent way too much recently on books, I'm going to concentrate more on my massive TBR pile (300+ books I think) and get a chunk of that read before I allow myself another book order.  I'll settle for reading 20-30 titles.  It will be a challenge, but with winter only a few weeks away, and the colder nights, I'm hoping to snuggle up with some good books over the coming weeks - there's nothing on TV anyway ;-D

Have you had a huge book splurge?  If you have, let me know how many books you got so I don't feel so bad ;-D

Until next time,