Book review: The Invisible Hand

By James Hartley
Published by Lodestone Books

Synopsis: The Invisible Hand is about a boy, Sam, who has just started life at a boarding school and finds himself able to travel back in time to medieval Scotland. There he meets a girl, Leana, who can travel to the future, and the two of them become wrapped up in events in Macbeth, the Shakespeare play, and in the daily life of the school. The book is the first part of a series called Shakespeare's Moon. Each book is set in the same boarding school but focuses on a different Shakespeare play.

How did this book end up in my hands? I borrowed it from the library as I am going to take part in the blog tour for the second book of this series and I wanted to know what happened in the first.

Was it a page-turner? The story is gripping and it makes for a relatively quick read. I was also very curious to see how the events from Macbeth were going to be adapted to fit around Sam's narrative.

Having read the synopsis, did the book meet my expec…

We need to talk about books! #14

This week I have the pleasure of catching up with Satou Johns from Inkish Kingdoms, where he writes about books. He also likes sharing his reading habits and talking with his followers on any possible media!

Are your bookshelves a ‘work in progress’ like mine or are they clearly and systematically organised? 

I am not an organized person... at all… (depending on what I do… I might). I have seen people sorting their books by colours and authors… but I just put them all on a shelf as they fit because it got bent… haha so I keep no specific order. I, however, have a “wall shelf” where I display the books that I will be reading in 2018!

Apart from books, what is to be found on your bookshelves?

Mangas… and funkopops… and Pokemons… and important mementos of special people. Not too many though, I don't want to be buried in books… or do I? Hmmm

How do you feel about lending books to friends?

Oh this one is tricky… I do lend books but only to really good and close friends… they have to sign a …

Happy Publication Day to...

Publication day is here for the quirkiest novel I've read so far this year... if not ever!

Congratulations to author Antoine Laurain on the publication of his latest book: Smoking Kills.
I would also like to congratulate Gallic Books for choosing to publish it and Louise Rogers-Lalaurie for a successful translation from the French into English.

I look forward to sharing with you my thoughts about the book!

#WhatsYourVerdict? The word to Araminta Hall...

Society has tried to silence women for as far back as history goes. Female attributes, skills, emotions and desires have always been seen as lesser. Traditionally, bringing up children, caring for relatives and making a home have all been considered of little worth and importance. ‘Caring’ professions are badly paid and doors have been constantly shut in the faces of the female work force. As a result, our experience, opinions and abilities have not been listened to or taken seriously. We’ve only been able to vote for a hundred years and sexual discrimination and harassment have been an accepted part of life. Women who complain are prudish, frigid, prick-tease; whilst women who have a healthy sexual appetite are often called promiscuous, whore, tart. The double standards we have lived with for so long are why millions of women across the world are now standing together to say Times Up.

I wanted to address all these issues in my new novel, Our Kind of Cruelty. I have written about a suc…

Book review: The Reading Party + competition

By Fenella Gentleman
Published by Muswell Press

Synopsis: It is the seventies and the colleges of Oxford are finally opening their doors to women. Sarah Addleshaw, young, spirited and keen to prove her worth, begins term as the first female academic at her college. She is in fact, her college’s only female Fellow. Impulsive love affairs with people, places and the ideas in her head beset Sarah throughout her first exhilarating year as a don, but it is the Reading Party, that has the most dramatic impact. Asked to accompany the first mixed group of students on the annual college trip to Cornwall, Sarah finds herself illicitly drawn to one of them, the suave American Tyler. Torn between professional integrity and personal feelings she faces her biggest challenge to date.

How did this book end up in my hands? I was offered a date on the blog tour organised by RandomThingsTours and I was quick to accept it. I was sold after reading the first sentence of the synopsis!

Was it a page-turner? Thi…

Book review: Smoking Kills + competition

By Antoine Laurain
Translated from the French by Louise Lalaurie
Published by Gallic Books

Synopsis: When head-hunter Fabrice Valentine faces a smoking ban at work, he decides to undertake a course of hypnotherapy to rid himself of the habit. At first the treatment works, but his stress levels begin to rise when he is passed over for an important promotion and he finds himself lighting up again – but with none of his previous enjoyment.

Until he discovers something terrible: he accidentally causes a man’s death, and needing a cigarette to calm his nerves, he enjoys it more than any other previous smoke. What if he now needs to kill every time he wants to properly appreciate his next cigarette?

How did this book end up in my hands? I received an advance review copy from the publisher and I was extremely happy as I don’t read enough fiction in translation.

Was it a page-turner? Yes, putting this book down to deal with daily responsibilities was extremely difficult. I still managed to finish i…

We need to talk about books! #13

This week I have the pleasure of catching up with Katie Huey from 52 Beautiful Things, where she writes about her imperfect practice of looking for beautiful things the world has to offer.
Are your bookshelves a ‘work in progress’ like mine or are they clearly and systematically organised? My bookshelves are always a work in progress. I don’t have just one spot I keep my books in my house and my shelves are already overflowing. I sometimes dream of color-coding the spines, but for now, I just pull out my signed copies of books and keep those safe. Apart from books, what is to be found on your bookshelves? These days I’ve got airplants, candles and photos on my shelves. My puppy tends to chew up my books so I’ve had to be more careful about what is at her eye level. What do you do with books once you’ve read them? I keep my favourites. I read quickly so I tend to use the library more than purchasing books. The ones I end up buying are more special to me and I keep them. Sometimes I have bo…