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Vanessa's 2012 Reads

Keep track of what you read in 2012. One thread per member, please.
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Vanessa
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 4182
Joined: August 2008
Currently reading: The Farm at the Edge of the World by Sarah Vaughan
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favourite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

Vanessa's 2012 Reads

Post by Vanessa » Wed February 1st, 2012, 10:49 am

Here's my list for January:


The L Shaped Room by Lynne Reid Banks 4
Set in the 1950s, when Jane Graham finds herself unmarried and pregnant, her father throws her out of the family home. She rents a room in a shared house, where she comes into contact with some interesting characters, each of whom help her to find herself again. I thought this was a nicely written, enjoyable and interesting 'kitchen sink' type drama. Good characterisation.

Before I Go to Sleep by S J Watson 4.5
Christine wakes up every day losing her memory. Each time she sleeps she forgets what she has done the previous day and all previous days, even the fact that she has a husband who has to remind her of her life each day. But all is not as it seems. I thought this was an original and compelling mystery thriller, a definite page turner. The only quibble I have with it is that the ending is neatly tied up. I look forward to seeing the film adaptation.

The Somnambulist by Essie Fox 5
Set in the 1870s/80s, this is the story of Phoebe Turner who lives with her mother who is a member of the Halleluja Army and her aunt who is music hall singer. When her aunt dies and her mother falls on hard times, Phoebe becomes a lady's companion at Dinwood Court which is a house full of secrets and she becomes well acquainted with the son of the house, Joseph Samuels. It's a story about the consequences and how they affect everyone else. I loved this gothic and intriguing piece of Victorian drama - it's unusually and magically written. The descriptions are so vivid you are almost there with Phoebe! And it had me happily turning the pages to the end.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern 5
Historical fantasy set in the Victorian era about a mysterious black and white circus which only opens at night. It's called the Circus of Dreams and the tents contain all sorts of magical spectacles. It's also about the relationship between two magicians - Celia and Marco - who find themselves in a battle to the death against each other, whilst at the same time falling in love. This was such an imaginative and vivid story, beautifully written in the third person and some chapters spoken directly to the reader. I thought it was brilliant. I'm off to buy myself a red scarf and join the 'reveurs', although I've always been a bit of a daydreamer!

The Ingenious Edgar Jones by Elizabeth Garner 3
Set in the 19thC in Oxford. When Edgar Jones is born his father has great dreams for him, but Edgar has other ideas. He wants to be an inventor and has a fascination with all things iron. It's the story of the struggle between a father and his son. I found this quite a dull read. It was written a little like a fairytale - 'And so it was....' which didn't work for me. On a more postive note, the descriptions of Oxford were very good. It was an OK book, but not one to rave about.

Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes 4.5
A sort of dual timeframe story set in 2004 and 2008, where we meet Cathy Bailey who is a victim of an abusive relationship. In 2004 we learn how she meets Lee and how he becomes more and more controlling until eventually it leads to Cathy nearly losing her life. In 2008 Cathy is living in a flat and suffers from OCD, scared to death that Lee will try to find her again. This is a frightening tale of obsessive behaviour. It's a very well told story and quite a page turner. It's excellent but I didn't like it as it gave me the eebie jeebies, if that makes sense! LOL.
currently reading: My Books on Goodreads

Books are mirrors, you only see in them what you already have inside you ~ The Shadow of the Wind

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Vanessa
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 4182
Joined: August 2008
Currently reading: The Farm at the Edge of the World by Sarah Vaughan
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favourite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

February

Post by Vanessa » Thu March 1st, 2012, 5:20 pm

Here's my list for February:

Half of the Human Race by Anthony Quinn 4
Set before, during and after WWII, this tells the tale of the relationship between a suffragette and a cricketer. It was well written and researched, and also moving as it touched on the sadness of suicide. I enjoyed the historical aspect of it and felt I gained a little more knowledge about the suffragette movement and the horror of the trenches. Cricket is only a small part of it so if you're not a fan, don't let this put you off reading the book. It's a very enjoyable and interesting story combining fact with fiction.

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles 4
Set in New York during the 1930s in the Depression era, following the lives of three friends, Katey, Evelyn and Tinker. Katey and Evelyn first become acquainted with Tinker on New Year's Eve and from then on their lives change, some of it for the better and some of it not. I really enjoyed this quirky little read. It's interestingly and evocatively written. I also thought it had something to say.

Michaelmas Tribute by Cora Harrison 3.5
Second in the Burren mysteries set in 16thC Ireland. When a steward is found dead in a churchyard on Michaelmas Day after being out and about collecting tributes (similar to taxes) and then a little later another death occurs, that of a miller, it is up to Mara as 'Brehon' or lady judge to uncover the murderer. Enjoyable read.

The Camomile Lawn by Mary Wesley 4
Set in Cornwall and London during WWII, the story of five cousins and how their lives are interlinked and cross over throughout the years. I found this an enjoyable, easy and light hearted read. It's evocative without being bogged down in detail. There is gentle humour throughout, even the sad parts are quite witty! I thought the idea of the actual camomile lawn was quite poignant as it held memories for each and every one of the cousins. I could even smell it myself!

Girl Reading by Katie Ward 4.5
Seven stories involving a girl reading and seven artists, in one form or another, spanning 700 years, beginning in 1333 and ending in 2060. Each story has a link to the previous one and each tells the tale of how a work of art came into being. I really enjoyed this book. The style of writing took me a while to get into, but once I did, I loved how each story followed on from each other and how the last story brought it all together. It's an unusual, different, quirky and atmospheric read!

My Brother Michael by Mary Stewart 4
Set in Greece, Camilla Haven is on holiday when she is approached by a man with a set of car keys, who tells her it is a matter of life and death that she drive to Delphi. She then finds herself in the middle of a mystery. Some lovely descriptions of Greece and its ancient monuments. An enjoyable and intriguing little tale.
currently reading: My Books on Goodreads

Books are mirrors, you only see in them what you already have inside you ~ The Shadow of the Wind

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Vanessa
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 4182
Joined: August 2008
Currently reading: The Farm at the Edge of the World by Sarah Vaughan
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favourite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

March

Post by Vanessa » Sun April 1st, 2012, 10:29 am

Here's my list for March:

The Report by Jessica Francis Kane 3.5
Set in 1943, a reimagining of a true event where 173 people lost their lives in Bethnall Green tube station/air raid shelter as the result of a crush. And interesting and enjoyable read, combining fact with fiction.

A Game of Sorrows by Shona MacLean 4
Second in the Alexander Seaton mysteries, this one set in Ulster. When Alexander receives a visit from his cousin telling of a curse that has been put upon his family, he sets off to help him. A tale of murder and espionage. I like how these books are written and find them good reads.

Green City in the Sun by Barbara Wood 5
The saga of two proud and powerful families -- one British, one African -- and their battle over Kenya's destiny in the twentieth century. This was quite a tome of a book, a real family saga set in Africa covering four generations. beginning in 1917. It touches on how, after WWI, British officers were offered tracts of land in British East Africa, now Kenya, as there was virtually no employment for them at home. And how the native African people eventually rebelled. I thoroughly enjoyed it and now find myself wondering why it took me so long to start reading it! I've had it on my shelves gathering dust for about 20 years!! LOL. It's an easy, vivid and interesting read, fast paced with plenty of good storylines, including murder. I was quite sorry to turn the last page as I found myself totally drawn into the lives of the various character and the land of Africa.

Agatha Raisin & the Witch of Wyckhadden by M C Beaton 4
After a vengeful hairdresser applies hair delapidator to Agatha's head, leaving her slightly bald, she flees to Wyckhadden where she books into a hotel with aging guests. She visits the local 'witch' for a potion to restore her hair. The potion appears to work but unfortunately the witch is found murdered! All sorts of mayhem ensues, leading to a proposal of marriage and Agatha getting herself into quite a fix. Fun read!

A Clash of Kings by George R R Martin 5
Historical fantasy and second in the A Song of Ice and Fire series vaguely based on the War of the Roses. Set in the world of Westeros where there are seven kingdoms where each would be king is vying for the Iron Throne. This one starts with a comet in the sky. Is it an omen? After a long summer of 10 years, the cold winds are rising and winter is a coming! Let the battles commence. Just a brilliant adventure story with some fabulous characters. Loved it and can't wait to watch the show which starts next week.
currently reading: My Books on Goodreads

Books are mirrors, you only see in them what you already have inside you ~ The Shadow of the Wind

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Vanessa
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 4182
Joined: August 2008
Currently reading: The Farm at the Edge of the World by Sarah Vaughan
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favourite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

April

Post by Vanessa » Mon April 30th, 2012, 4:15 pm

Here's my list for April:

The Flower Reader by Elizabeth Loupas 5
Set in the court of Mary Queen of Scots in the 1560s and told in the first person, this is the imaginative tale of Marina Leslie (also known as Rinette) of Granmuir, who is entrusted with a silver casket containing important documents and prophecies from Nostradamus by a dying Mary of Guise. Everyone but everyone seems very keen on getting their hands on it which, in turn, leads to murder and treason. Rinette has a special gift and she uses her floromancy skills to try to predict the future and also to identify her husband's killer. I found it a beautifully written, well plotted and intriguing story, combining factual and fictional figures. It's very evocative of the period it is set in. I loved the voice of Rinette - I thought she was a very believable and compelling character. Thoroughly enjoyable.

You Deserve Nothing by Alexander Maksik 3
Set in contemporary Paris about a teacher who is having an illicit affair with a student. It's told via three voices, that of the teacher, Will, and two students, Marie and Gilad. An interesting point about this story is that important events throughout the book are told from different perspectives. It's a quick and easy read, but I did find the ending quite abrupt. It's not my favourite of the TV Book Club choices.

The Book of Summers by Emylia Hall 4
Beth Lowe receives a package from Hungary, via her father, which contains a book of photos and memorabilia - the Book of Summers. As she looks through it, it brings back painful memories. I thought this was a thoughtful, gentle and compelling book. At times it reads like a memoir - the main character of Beth came across as quite real. I also thought it was very evocative of Hungary, where most of the story is set. I almost felt I was there and it made me want to visit - the imagery and descriptions are wonderful. Beautifully and poetically written, it's an excellent debut novel.

The Vesuvius Club by Mark Gatiss 3.5
Set in the Edwardian era, when some of Britain's most prominent scientists start to be killed off, His Majesty's Secret Agent Lucifer Box steps in, which leads to a gallivant across the seas to Naples and a trip round Pompei. This is quite a fun, easy and sometimes shocking read. It flows along quite merrily and seems tame and then something brings you up short. It's definitely Doctor Who-esque in style.

The Cat Who Played Post Office by Lilian Jackson Braun 3.5
The sixth in the Jim Qwilleran mystery series. Qwill and his detective siamese duo, Koko and Yum Yum, inherit a mansion. Moving in doesn't run smoothly as they find out that a housemaid has gone missing and then a murder occurs. Entertaining, cosy and light-hearted mystery.

Offshore by Penelope Fitzgerald 3
Story about a community of people who live on houseboats on the River Thames set in the 1960s. It's very much a character based book. I enjoyed it but I would have preferred it to have been a little longer and the characters fleshed out more. There was a lot of reading in between the lines to be done which made it a little disjointed for me.

Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt 5
Set in the 1980s, this story is told through the voice of 14 year old June. When June's Uncle Finn dies of AIDS, she befriends his close friend, Toby, who seems to fill a hole in her life. In the background there is her distant and difficult relationship with her older sister, Greta, and the story is mainly about how her friendship with Toby brings them back together. There is also a portrait of the two girls painted by Finn at the centre of the story and this somehow adds a magical quality. I found it an enchanting and beautifully written story of love, hope, relationships, loneliness and growing up. A delightful, compelling, moving and bittersweet read, I would highly recommend it.
currently reading: My Books on Goodreads

Books are mirrors, you only see in them what you already have inside you ~ The Shadow of the Wind

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Vanessa
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 4182
Joined: August 2008
Currently reading: The Farm at the Edge of the World by Sarah Vaughan
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favourite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

May

Post by Vanessa » Fri June 1st, 2012, 9:44 am

Here's my list for May:

The Bone Thief by V M Whitworth 4
The first book in the Wulfgar's World series. When Alfred the Great's son, Edward, inherits the Kingdom of Wessex, it makes the people of Mercia feel very uneasy. The Lord of Mercia is very ill so his wife decides to send her secretary, Wulfgar on a mission to dig up the bones of St Oswald to consecrate her church and unite her people. This is the story of his many adventures. It's a well researched book and I liked Wulfgar as a character. The second half is better than the first - a promising start to a new series.

Dead Man's Folly by Agatha Christie 4
A teenager is murdered at a garden party. She was playing out a mock murder mystery, as devised by author and amateur sleuth Ariadne Oliver, and ended up a real corpse. Hercule Poirot steps in to investigate with his little grey cells. Enjoyable.

Sacrifice by S J Bolton 4.5
Set on the Shetland Islands, when Tora Hamilton discovers the body of a woman on her land with her heart ripped out and symbols inscribed into her skin, this unleashes a whole can of worms so to speak! It's a very atmospheric setting. I found it an eerie and disturbing story, very much a page turner. I shall definitely be reading more of this author's work.

The Scent of Lemon Leaves by Clara Sanchez 3.5
Pregnant Sandra decides to stay in her sister's house in Spain to make up her mind whether to stay with the baby's father. There she befriends a Norwegian couple who have Nazi connections and also, Julian, a former concentration camp inmate. All is not what it seems and she finds herself involved in a form vigilantism. An intriguing and unusual tale, quite compelling in its way.

The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry 5
Towner Whitney returns to her native Salem when she learns that her great-aunt Eva has disappeared. Towner has not been back to the area for 15 years due to a dreadful event which occurred there. But all is not as it seems and gradually the mystery is pieced together. I thoroughly enjoyed it - I found it an engrossing and atmospheric read, and one difficult to put down.

My Family & Other Animals by Gerald Durrell 4
This is the author's own account of his adventures in Corfu when he went to live there as a small boy in the 1930s. This is quite a jolly little read about his affinity with nature and small animals. There were some lovely descriptions of Corfu and it was interesting to compare the island of the 1930s to the present day. A lot has changed!

The Elephant Keeper by Christopher Nicholson 5
Set in the 18thC, the story of one man's love for an elephant. When two elephants land at Bristol as part of a ship's cargo, they are bought by a local squire and are put in the care of a stable boy, Tom Page. Later the elephants are sold on and Tom accompanies one of them, Jenny, to her new home in Sussex where he is asked to write an account of his life with the elephants. And thus begins their adventures. This is a lovely, poignant and beautifully written story, and I just adored Jenny the elephant!!
currently reading: My Books on Goodreads

Books are mirrors, you only see in them what you already have inside you ~ The Shadow of the Wind

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Vanessa
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 4182
Joined: August 2008
Currently reading: The Farm at the Edge of the World by Sarah Vaughan
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favourite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

June

Post by Vanessa » Mon July 2nd, 2012, 9:55 am

Here's my list for June:

Ashenden by Elizabeth Wilhide 4
The story of a house from its beginnings in the mid 1700s until the present day. This isn't a story with a plot as such with a beginning, a middle and an ending - I read it more as snippets from the bigger picture. There is much that is left to the imagination which I found added to the atmosphere. It is a book where the house is the main character and where walls have ears. People may come and go, but the house remains to tell their tale and at the same time retaining certain secrets. I like to think that Ashenden Park will still be here recording the lives of those who have loved it for many years to come. I found this a worthwhile, well written and absorbing read with some interesting characters. If you enjoy stories with a house as a character, as I do, this is one for you.

White Nights by Ann Cleeves 4
Second in the Shetland Quartet. After the party to launch an art exhibition, a man is found dead in a boathouse wearing a clown's mask. Detective Jimmy Perez is convinced that he has been murdered by a villager. Enjoyable and well written mystery in a great and atmospheric setting.

The Art of the Engine Driver by Steven Carroll 3
A story which takes place all on one evening on one street where an engagement party is being held. All the residents of the street are invited and as they start their journey towards the party, we get to know their thoughts, feelings and about their lives and anticipations. I wasn't too keen on how it was written - it's written in a retrospective way as well as telling the reader what will happen in the future. I liked the idea of it, though, and there were some great and interesting characters. An easy read.

House of Silence by Linda Gillard 5
Family drama set in a country house in Norfolk at Christmas time. When Gwen 'invites' herself to her boyfriend's family home in Norfolk for Christmas, little does she know what she is letting herself in for. The family all appear a little strange and nothing is as it seems. This is a lovely, gentle tale about relationships and the consequences of our actions. It's well written, easy to read, with some good, likeable characters. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Pandora by Jilly Cooper 4
Set in the glamorous of art collecting and centring around the Belvedon family. During the war Raymond Belvedon notices a painting of Raphael's Pandora in a chateau which has been bombed and he brings it back home to live in a turret. Several years later, a stranger turns up claiming to be a long lost daughter. During a celebration the painting is stolen and the hunt is on to claim it back. What can I say? This is a fun and witty read. It was also great to meet up with Rupert Campbell Black again, whom I first met many years ago in Riders. It's full of madcap characters, including dogs, my favourite being Visitor, a Golden Labrador. It would make a great beach read as it's easy to read and doesn't require much concentration.

The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths 4.5
Set in the fictional atmospheric Saltmarshes in Norfolk, when a child's bones are discovered near the site of an ancient henge, DCI Harry Nelson asks forensic archaologist Ruth Galloway to date them. DCI Nelson fears that they are the bones of a five year old girl who went missing ten years ago, but they turn out to be two thousand years old. Shortly afterwards a second girl goes missing and Ruth finds herself in danger. I thoroughly enjoyed this intriguing and well written thriller. I will definitely be reading more by this author.
currently reading: My Books on Goodreads

Books are mirrors, you only see in them what you already have inside you ~ The Shadow of the Wind

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lauragill
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Post by lauragill » Fri July 13th, 2012, 5:35 am

[quote=""Vanessa""]Here's my list for June:

Ashenden by Elizabeth Wilhide 4
The story of a house from its beginnings in the mid 1700s until the present day. This isn't a story with a plot as such with a beginning, a middle and an ending - I read it more as snippets from the bigger picture. There is much that is left to the imagination which I found added to the atmosphere. It is a book where the house is the main character and where walls have ears. People may come and go, but the house remains to tell their tale and at the same time retaining certain secrets. I like to think that Ashenden Park will still be here recording the lives of those who have loved it for many years to come. I found this a worthwhile, well written and absorbing read with some interesting characters. If you enjoy stories with a house as a character, as I do, this is one for you.

[/quote]

Your description of Ashenden gave me an idea of how to approach the book I want to write about Minoan Knossos.

User avatar
Vanessa
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 4182
Joined: August 2008
Currently reading: The Farm at the Edge of the World by Sarah Vaughan
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favourite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

Post by Vanessa » Fri July 13th, 2012, 7:56 am

It's a good way of covering several eras.
currently reading: My Books on Goodreads

Books are mirrors, you only see in them what you already have inside you ~ The Shadow of the Wind

User avatar
Vanessa
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 4182
Joined: August 2008
Currently reading: The Farm at the Edge of the World by Sarah Vaughan
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favourite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

July

Post by Vanessa » Wed August 1st, 2012, 4:13 pm

Here's my list for July:

The Knot by Jane Borodale 5
Set during the late 16thC and based on a real life character, lesser known botanist Henry Lyte. After the death of his first wife, Henry marries again and tries to forget the past by translating a Dutch book of herbs and flowers. At the same time he is designing a knot garden for his house in Somerset, Lyte Cary. His peace is shattered when his father dies and his step-mother unleashes her hatred on him. This is quite a poetic and descriptive book but, at the same time, quite compelling. I liked learning about all the uses for the flowers and herbs and about Henry's vision for the future - how we can all make a difference even if it's a small one.

Cuckoo by Julia Crouch 3.5
A dark, pschological drama about a young couple who invite their newly widowed friend and two sons to stay. All is not as it seems and the widowed friend definitely has other plans on her mind. Hints of preying mantises! Or a black widow spider luring prey into her web. I thought it was a good premise and the story kept me turning the pages. However, I did think it got a little silly at times and the writing jarred somewhat.

The Merchant's House by Kate Ellis 4
First in the DS Wesley Peterson mysteries set in the fictional town of Tradmouth in Devon. In this one a child goes missing and a young woman is found murdered on a cliff path. At the same time, archaeologist Neil Watson discovers two skeletons, that of a young woman and a baby, in the cellar of an old merchant's house in the same town, which date back several hundred years. As Wesley investigates, he finds a link between the two cases. Enjoyable mystery with a historical twist. I will be reading more in the series.

Jamrach's Menagerie by Carol Birch 3
Set in the 1800s, a young boy called Jaffy Brown is 'abducted' by a tiger whilst running through the streets of London, which leads him to meeting Charlie Jamrach. He starts working for Jamrach who is a collector of strange and wonderful animals. He is soon sent on a mission across the South Seas to capture a 'dragon' and his adventures begin. I found this book rather disturbing, but at the same time thought-provoking and strangely compelling. I enjoyed parts one and three, but part two was just too gruesome for me. A good piece of literature but it just meade me feel a little queasy.

A Humble Companion by Laurie Graham 5
Set in the 1700s, Nellie Welche becomes companion to Princess Sofia, daughter of mad King George III. Through her eyes we are privy to George's children's secrets and it covers historic events from the French Revolution to the beginning of Queen Victoria's reign. Beautifully written in the form of a memoir, it's very well researched with a narrator who has a great sense of humour. I loved it! It's the first book I have read by Laurie Graham and it won't be the last.

The Other Side of the Story by Marian Keyes 4
Set mainly in the publishing world and told through the eyes of three different young women - Gemma, Jojo and Lily - each with an axe to grind. Their stories are inter-linked with themes of love, betrayal, revenge, guilt and forgiveness. I enjoyed this intelligent chick-lit style tale with a moral in the story. A good fun read, great for the beach!
currently reading: My Books on Goodreads

Books are mirrors, you only see in them what you already have inside you ~ The Shadow of the Wind

User avatar
Vanessa
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 4182
Joined: August 2008
Currently reading: The Farm at the Edge of the World by Sarah Vaughan
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favourite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

August

Post by Vanessa » Sat September 1st, 2012, 3:06 pm

Here's my list for August:

The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths 4.5
Second in the Ruth Galloway mystery series set in Norfolk. A child's skeleton is unearthed beneath a house which is being demolished, the skull found down a well. Ruth investigates whether they are related to two children who disappeared from a children's home 40 years before. Excellent and gripping mystery.

The Bleeding Land by Giles Kristian 4
Set just before and during the English Civil War, this tells the story of two brothers, Mun and Tom Rivers, and their sister, Bess. After a tragic event the two brothers end up fighting against each other. Meanwhile the family home is under siege. I thought this was a vivid portrayal of the era. It's a little gruesome in places but I enjoyed the story on the whole and will read the rest of the series as and when.

Cloudstreet by Tim Winton 4.5
Set in Perth, Australia, and spanning about 20 years from the 1940s to the 60s, the story centres around two families who share the same house and tells of their trials and tribulations with a hint of the supernatural! I'm glad I read it on my Kindle as there are quite a few colloquialisms which I wasn't too sure of and was able to look them up with the aid of the dictionary. One of the pros of Kindles! Other than that I thought it was a great book and quite humorous. A little bit of Australian history, too.

The Girl on the Stairs by Louise Welsh 4
A young pregnant woman moves to Berlin to be with her lover. Whilst she is in the apartment on her own, she feels a sense of unease and suspects her neighbour of murdering his wife. I found this quite a creepy, atmospheric and disturbing book. It's quite a short and uncomplicated psychological thriller, but it's full of suspense and has you on the edge of your seat. An easy and quick read where the slow build up of tension makes you want to turn the pages!

The Homecoming by Cynthia Harrod Eagles 5
Twenty-fourth in the Morland Dynasty series, this one is set in the 1880s and 90s. Queen Victoria is on the throne and, although allowed, divorce is still seen as a social stigma. So when Henrietta Morland marries divorced Jerome Compton, she is cast out of society. Lots of Victorian innovations and also the beginning the Women's Suffrage. It's always great to find out what the Morlands have been up to!

Red Bones by Ann Cleeves 4
Third in the Shetland Island Quartet. An elderly lady is shot on her land where an excavation is taking place and then a short while later, one of the archaeologists is found dead. Jimmy Perez investigates to see if there is a connection between the two deaths and to unearth the culprit! Enjoyable mystery in a great setting.
currently reading: My Books on Goodreads

Books are mirrors, you only see in them what you already have inside you ~ The Shadow of the Wind

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