My Week In Books (w/e 5th December 2021) #booknews #bookupdates #MeAndMyBooks

Welcome to another weekly round-up of books I have read. A quietish week last week, but a hectic one coming up!

This last week I have read 4 books. One of which is a little bit special and I am going to start with that one first. I think it is an excellent book and it is for a very good cause.

And, it just so happens it contains a story that I wrote ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜

The Stars Will Shine Again: Helping Our Heroes One Page at A Time by [Emma Mitchell, Malcolm Hollingdrake, Tony Forder, Andrew Barrett, Sharon Bairden, Audrey Davis, Anna Franklin-Osborne, Bob Stone, Alistair Birch, Val Portelli]

The Stars Will Shine Again is a collection of short stories from your favourite authors who have come together to deliver you a Christmas read with a twist.

With true war tales that will break your heart, gritty crimes that will shake you to your core, magic and mystery, and heart-warming tales of love lost and found, this anthology has something for everyone. And, with every penny made being sent to support our troops youโ€™re helping our heroes, one page at a time.

From authors such as Malcolm Hollingdrake, Tony Forder, Val Portelli, and Andrew Barrett, and several debut authors, including Sarah Hardy and Yvonne Bastian, you are in for one heck of a ride.

The Stars Will Shine Again is the perfect Christmas gift for the bookworms in your life.

A Note from Emma Mitchell:

As the blurb tells us, The Stars Will Shine Again is a multi-genre collection of short stories compiled to raise money for our armed forces and every penny made from the sales of both the digital and paperback copies will be donated to the charity Help for Heroes. Covid has made fundraising a difficult job for everyone, so itโ€™s an honour to be able to do something like this and Iโ€™m thankful to everyone involved. With huge thanks going once again to Amanda Horan for her support and fabulous cover design. You can find her at Letโ€™s Get Booked.

Iโ€™ve picked the best of the submissions to bring you a thrilling book which is perfect for dipping into at lunchtime or snuggling up with on a cold winterโ€™s night. I have been completely blown away by the support from the writing and blogging community, especially the authors who submitted stories and bloggers who have been so generous with their time to help advertise and spread the word.

There isnโ€™t a person in the country who hasnโ€™t benefited from the sacrifices our troops, past and present, have made for us and they all deserve our thanks.

It has been an honour working on these stories, and I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I have.

Publication Day is 10th December and you can purchase from Amazon UK and I do believe a Paperback version will also be available then as well. PURCHASE LINK

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I thought Whitesands by Johann Thorssan was a cracking read, you can see my full review for this book HERE as I only published it on my blog yesterday.

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This was a gorgeous read and I got to learn a little about West African Mythology as well. Skin of the Sea by Natasha Bowen was a gorgeously written YA book set in the 1400s, a book about slavery, history, mythology and culture. Full of action, adventure, hope, memories and is a comi9ng of age story. Keep an eye out for my full review soon.

I do love the Letty Parker series, The Hanging Tree by Misha Herwin is the 4th book and packed full of mystery, danger and peril for Letty and her friends. You can read my full review HERE.

There we have it, 4 books read. I really should sort out my Top Reads list for the year as well. I do have a rough list and I need to go through it again to make sure. I sound like Father Christmas now, made a list, checked it twice ๐Ÿ˜‚

Have a great week ahead,

Stay Safe and Happy Reading

Yvonne xx

My Week In Books (w/e 21st Nov 2021) #booklove #booknews #MeAndMyBooks

Welcome to another weekly round-up of books I have read. Another good week on the reading front and plenty more to keep me going as we await this cold chill that is expected. I did manage an hour in the garden dead-heading…plants that is! Cut the last few rose blooms as well which smell amazing in the kitchen.

So, here is what I have read over the past week…

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Newport Writers – An anthology of poetry and prose is a book I read for an upcoming Blog Tour. This is a collection of verse, short stories and flash fiction from a group of writers. There is a vast myriad of styles and content and there is definitely something for everyone in this anthology. Full review later this week.

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Ross Greenwood is one of the authors whose books I will automatically read without even looking at the synopsis. The Cold Killer is the 4th book in the DI Barton series and wow, this one is a cracker. A murdered inmate, an increasing body count, more questions than answers and secrets from the past are just the tip of the iceberg in this latest hard-hitting thriller. The full review is at the end of the week.

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The D.C. Maggie James series is a series that I have enjoyed from the very start. Dead Mercey by Noelle Holten is the 5th book in the series and is one that could be read as a stand-alone. This is a hard one for the team as wounds are still fresh from the previous book. Life has to continue and this latest case is another tough one that will call in various agencies and specialists. The full review will also be at the end of the week.

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It was also time to catch up on some overdue NetGalley books. Greece Actually by Sue Roberts was ideal for some lighter reading and it was so nice to be taken to warmer shores with wonderful foods and locals. After I finished reading this book I had a virtual tour around the island of Skiathos. This is one for fans of romance and foreign destinations, a gorgeous story, a full review will follow soon.

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As I wasn’t quite ready to return back the UK, I decided to stop over in France. Celebrations at the Chateau by Jo Thomas was a fabulous story, I do love this author’s books and this one is another wonderful one. A chateau, food, locals, cheese, recipes and a sitting tenant are just some of the things that Fliss and her two sisters find when they discover they have just inherited a chateau in Normandy that they knew nothing about. Another amazing read from Jo and one for romance and contemporary fiction fans. Again, the full review should be up soon.

That’s it for another week. Next weeks post will be the last one of November!!! Not long before I have to try and remember to change the year every time I write the date ๐Ÿ˜‚

Have a fab week ahead,

Happy Reading

Yvonne xx

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

My Week In Books (w/e 14th Nov 2021) #booklove #bookupdates #MeAndMyBooks

Welcome to another weekly round-up of books I have read. Just three books this week, but all three were very different and also brilliantly entertaining in their own way.

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When in autumn it is nice to be reminded of the summer and The Seaside Cocktail Campervan by Caroline Roberts definitely made me think of the warmer days of only a few weeks ago. A new business see’s two strangers connecting over pizzas and cocktails. The author really did a wonderful job with her descriptions of food and drinks as well as creating a lovely and engaging story. She also added some of the recipes at the end of the books, a welcome addition. One for fans of rom-com, summer reads and one I would definitely recommend.

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I requested this one via NetGalley and I almost didn’t read this one. The Silence of Scheherazade by Defne Suman was a book that took me a while to get into, but there was something about it that made me want to keep reading this slower and at times slightly confusing book. This is the story of four different families and each with a timeslip timeline. While the storyline may have confused me at times, I am so glad I persevered with it as the writing style was absolutely mesmerising. This is a historical fiction story that does has a strong lean towards the literary fiction genre. Given my initial apprehension, I am glad I read this and it is one I would also definitely recommend.

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The Bone Shard Emperor by Andrea Stewart is the second book in the Drowning Empire series and I have been eagerly awaiting this one. This is a series that should be read in order as this second book expands on the previous book as well as moves forward with the story of Lin, Jovis and the other characters. This is a fantasy series and I adore everything about it. It was a little more detailed but this helped to build the characters, the tension and mistrust. Keep an eye out for my full review next week as part of the blog tour.

There we have it,

Another week over and more to add to my reading tally.

Take Care and Stay Safe,

Happy Reading

Yvonne xx

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

My Week In Books (w/e 7th November 2021) #booknews #booklove #MeAndMyBooks

Welcome to another weekly round-up of books I have read this week. I also have a Blog Tour review out today as well.

Last week, well the late hours of Saturday night saw me finish my Goodreads Reading Challenge of 200 books. The book I chose to complete the challenge was a fabulous one and you will see what it was below ๐Ÿ™‚

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The Secret Path by Karen Swan was a wonderful read for a cold autumn night. When Tara Tremain visits the island she is forced to confront her ex, Alex. He used her and she now needs his help as she is in the middle of the jungle trying to help a sick child. A wonderful read and one that I adored, with gorgeous descriptions, wonderful settings and some fabulous characters. A mix of contemporary fiction, mystery with a good deal of suspense.

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When I saw the Blog Tour for The Lost by Simon Beckett, I along with loads of other Book Bloggers asked for a spot. This is the first time I have read anything by this author and I am so glad it is the first book in a planned series. Dark, twisted, riveting and a blooming good read. A crime thriller told over a dual timeline and it had me hooked.

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I do love this series and The World Cup Mystery by Peter Bartram sees Colin Crampton, an investigative journalist once more in the thick of things. It’s 1966 and Colin and his girlfriend Shirley have had to cut short their holiday and rush back home to Brighton. Trouble it seems finds Colin no matter where he is, and the trouble this time has the potential to be very serious indeed. A fun, cosy crime mystery series and one I will share my review for soon as part of the Blog Tour.

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I was lucky enough to win an e-copy of A Christmas Caroline by Camilla Isley, The author has taken the story A Christmas Carol and given it a modern-day spin using the hardworking, businesswoman Caroline as her main lead. I really enjoyed this story and it didn’t take me long to get into this. A wonderful festive story with a moral. The review will follow shortly.

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So, this is the book that I read that hit my Goodreads target for the year…

Dead Ground by M.W. Craven is the 4th book in the Washing ton Poe series and what a belter of a book it was. I adore the team of Poe and Tilly Bradshaw, they are like chalk and cheese but make such an amazing team. This time they are called in to help with murder, one that has more secrets, red tape and officious persons than they have come across before. Not that this is ever going to stop Poe from being Poe of course. It is a brilliant story and one that once again had me hooked.

Another week is done,

Have a great week ahead and stay safe,

All the best

Yvonne xx

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

My Week In Books (w/e 31st October 2021) #booklove #bookupdates #MeAndMyBooks

Well another month has come and gone, and now the clocks have changed the nights are longer, the weather is colder so thank goodness for books. Let’s admit it, there’s nothing much worth watching on TV, so it is a good job I have plenty of reading material ๐Ÿ™‚

So here is what I have read this week…

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I really enjoyed The Survivors by Alex Schulman. This is one of those books that I found to be quietly addictive. I wasn’t sure about it when I first started it, but there was something about it that gradually drew me in. A story about family and things from the past. It is one for those who like a more literary fiction story and I will share my full review soon.

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The story of Our Secrets by Shari Low was a gorgeous read and also very emotional. I do like this authors stories, I haven’t read all of them but the ones I have read have been fabulous. This is the story of a widow and her friends and how they are still trying to come to terms with the loss of a major figure in their lives. Keep an eye out for my review as part of the Blog Tour.
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I do like a new series and War Clouds Over Blackberry Farm by Rosie Clarke was a brilliant story to start this new series. Having read a few of this authors books previously I was very happy to get a spot on the Blog Tour for this one. A story of family, love, tragedy and the Second World War looming people are thinking of the future. A fabulous story that has brilliant characters and an all-around great read.

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I had seen some fab reviews for Witch by Mark Brownless and I decided to buy a copy and it was a really addictive spooky read. It is a horror but not the full-on blood and guts sort, but it was one that rated well on the spookiness scale. A 400year old cottage in Wales, isolated, near a lake and with the spirit of a dead witch rumoured to inhabit. I mean, what could go wrong for the couple who have just moved in!!! A full review will follow soon.

There we go for another week,

I have nearly completed my Goodreads target and hopefully, I can bring my NetGalley books down a little.

Before I go, here’s a pic of me in fancy dress from Halloween ๐Ÿ˜จ๐ŸŽƒ๐Ÿง™โ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ˜

Have a fabulous week ahead,

Take Care

Yvonne ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

My Week In Books (w/e 24th October 2021) #booklove #bookupdates #MeAndMyBooks

Welcome once again to my weekly round up of book I have read over the past week. It has been another good week for reading and I have read some amazing books…

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I received a copy of We Are Not Like Them by Christine Pride & Jo Piazza from the publisher HQ Stories as part of one of their recent promotions. This is a story that is about race, friendship, loyalty and trust. A brilliant story that I found to be very addictive as I followed the two main characters of Riley and Jen. Full review will be later this week.

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If you like gritty gangland, crime thrillers then have a look at The Score by Kerry Kaya, this is the second book in the series and it is brilliant. A brilliant storyline about a father being released from prison trying to reconnect with his grown up children, only to find himself in the middle of something else. Addictive with some toe-curling scenes, great characters and plenty of twists. Full review will be part of the Blog Tour.

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I already have A Secret Gift by Amanda James on pre-order, and I also had the chance to read an advance copy via NetGalley. Mandy is one of the authors who I will automatically read, and once again she has created such a wonderful story that had me hooked from the very beginning. This is the story of Joy, a young widow who is still trying to get over the loss of her husband. Plodding through life and going through the motions but not quite living life to the full. A gorgeous story with some fabulous characters and something rather special. I Should have my review for this one up later this week.

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Broken Girls by Joy Kluver is the second book in the Detective Bernadette Noel series and wow what a story this one was. This is not one for the faint-hearted, it is brutal, gripping and addictive. I would suggest reading the first book before this one, although they can be read as standalones. Bernie has her work cut out as she tries to make her points and opinions heard, not always easy when your boss doesn’t really have your back or when it feels like he is dragging his feet. A brutal crime, plenty of twists and some good character development continued from the first book. I cant wait to read the next book.

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I have had She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan on my TBR for a while now and I decided that I was ready to read it. Wow, this is an amazing story, it is set in Mongolian occupied China, and I do love this era of history. The author has used history as the basis of the story but has reimagined it with a young peasant girl taking the identity of her brother Zhu. It follows her journey as she refuses to be nothing and to achieve greatness. Greatness was something her brother was supposed to achieve, so she has decided to achieve it herself. Set in the 1300s this is a historical fantasy and it is a fabulous book, I cant wait to get my hands on the next one.

There we go, 5 books this week and such a great range of genres, all excellent reads and I loved them all.

Take care, stay safe

Happy Reading,

All the best

Yvonne xx

My Last Two Weeks In Books (w/e 10th Oct 2021) #booklove #bookupdates #mygarden #MeAndMyBooks

Welcome to my weekly update, or as it is this a time, my last two weeks of books. I have been on annual leave this past week and it was quite a busy week. I had my COVID Booster, other half had his Flu jab, I had X-rays on my hands for suspected arthritis and filled the car with stuff to go to the recycling centre, had a good clear through the house, its amazing what I have managed to accumulate over the past few months!

The last two weeks has seen me out in the garden having a proper tidy up, cutting back and pruning as well as clearing the bamboo back to the hedge again.

The small leaf lime tree was looking rather lost in front of the buddleia and the bamboo had covered all the stone work in the hedge.
From this angle, you can see how much had to be cut back and I can now see my lime again ๐Ÿ™‚
I have also found more plants growing, these are ones that have set themselves. I do love freebie plants ๐Ÿ™‚

Now then, I supposed I had better get to the books…

It has been a while since I have read any horror books, so where better to start than with a new series. Camp Death by Jim Ody is the first book in the Question Mark Horror series. A series where different authors write a story. Camp Death is a YA horror story and quite a quick read, it does have an eeries, sinister atmosphere to it and while it is not a hardcore horror I really enjoyed it. Keep and eye out fo rmy review soon.

After reading the first book in the Question Mark Horror series, then obviously I wanted to read the 2nd one. Ouija by Zoe-Lee O’Farrell really ticked the spooky boxes for me. This was a cracking read and definitely gave me the chills as I read it. Another quick read but one that had several twists in it. Again, review to follow.

A couple of months ago I read The Gathering Storm (full review HERE), the first book in The Sturmtaucher Trilogy by Alan Jones. I was blown away by this book and it was an absolute privilege and delight to get the chance to read the second book – Flight of the Shearwater. This is a brilliant book and once again the author has blown me away. If you love reading books about WWII, with amazing research and fabulous storytelling then, you really must, yes MUST pick up these books. My review of this second book is HERE.

I have always been a fan of Wilbur Smith, I read the first book of his when I was 15 or 16 years old and have loved his books. The New Kingdom by Smith with Mark Chadbourn is the 6th book in the Ancient Egypt series, somewhere along the way I have missed a couple of the books so I can say that this latest one does work well as a stand-alone. My full review will be on Wednesday this week.

This book was one of my picks for ~20booksofsummer reading challenge, it was one that I swapped out but I did finally get to read it this past week. Murder the Biography by Kate Morgan is a really interesting read that documents murder as it is seen in law back to its earliest days. When murder was first established as being a crime and documenting its path to what we know in the courts of law today. This is ideal for readers who like history, law, crime and non-fiction books. Full review to follow.

Well, there we go for another week.

I did try to get a photo of my boys, Billy & Buster while it was nice and sunny outside…

Whenever the camera comes out, one looks away while the other plays the fool!!!!

But persistence did pay off in the end…

There go, another week done and dusted,

I hope you are all keeping well

Love Yvonne xx

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

My Week In Books (w/e 26th September) #booklove #booknews #MeAndMyBooks

Some of you may have already seen this post, I mistakenly hit the wrong button and it went live yesterday afternoon. Donโ€™t want you to think you were having a deja vu moments ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜‚

Welcome to my weekly wrap-up of books I have read. I know I seem to say this at the end of every month… but seriously… how are we in the last few days of September already!!!

You can tell we are starting to get into autumn now, I have noticed leaves starting to fall and most noticeably my veg garden is now empty. I am still picking raspberries but that is it as far as homegrown veg goes. Things took ages to get going and then suddenly its all over.

The flowers beds are still looking good, but not quite as colourful as they did a few weeks ago, dahlias, fuchsias, petunias and antirrhinums are still giving a good show. It is almost time to start pruning various shrubs and trees back and getting them back into some sort of shape again. Indoor cyclamen are starting to show new buds so they have been re-potted, just need to find some space on the window sills for them!

Right, so what have I read this week…

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When fellow Book Blogger NS Ford got in touch to see if I would review her book I immediately said yes, the synopsis looked right up my street. We Watch You is a wonderfully intriguing psychological thriller, a story of secrets and misdirection and one that I had a great time reading. Full review will be later this week.

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Any regular visitor to my blog will be aware that I do love Tony Forder‘s books. He has a new one called The Huntsmen and it is also the stat of a new police procedural series. My goodness this is a dark crime thriller featuring Detective Royston Chase, and Tony being Tony doesn’t hold back with this character or indeed the storyline. A dark, deceptive, twisted and addictive story.

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When I saw there was a Blog tour for Gill Paul‘s new book I immediately signed up, I didn’t read the synopsis either. The Collector’s Daughter – A Novel of the Discovery of Tutankhamun’s Tomb is a fabulous historical fiction story that I loved. This has a duel timeline, one being 1922 the other 1972, it is the story of Lady Evelyn Herbert. She was a real life figure and the author has fictionalised a story around the facts. Full review will be up next week.

Three fabulous books for me this week.

Have a wonderful week ahead,

Take care

Yvonne xx

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

My Week In Books (w/e 19th September) #booknews #booklove

Welcome to another weekly update of books I have read over the past week. It has been a week where nothing much has happened, a plod along week if you like ๐Ÿ™‚

Here is what I have read…

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The Seamstress of Warsaw by Rebecca Mascull is a stunning story. The story of a man trying to find the truth of his life that leads him to the Jewish Ghettos of Warsaw during WWII. An absolutely amazing read, full review on Wednesday as part of the Blog Tour.

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The Farmhouse at Peace & Plenty by L.B. Simpson is a relatively quick read at 125 pages long. It is quite atmospheric not too spooky, more mysterious and intriguing. I’, not saying too much about this one as the review is up later this week as part of the blog tour.

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A Lifetime Ago by Jim Ody is another book that has the review later this week. This is the first book in the Hudson Bell series, an ex-detective now works as a consultant for the police. Using the skills he developed over the years as a detective, and with the help of Jez on the tech and computer side of things this duo make quite a team. Keep an eye out for the Blog Tour.

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The Unravelling by Polly Crosby is such an atmospheric and stunning story of a young girl and an elderly lady. Set on a desolate island where mystery and sadness leave questions to be answered. This is a gorgeous story and one that I adored. My full review will be next week as part of the Blog Tour.

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Freecycling For Beginners by Misha Herwin is another gorgeous story. It begins with a chair offered, tatty, old but still with a bit of life left in it. This chair is the opener for a wonderful story that allowed me to glimpse into the lives of others. Fabulous characters and an emotional story that I adored. Yes, you guessed it, full review as part of the Blog Tour next week.

Another week of fabulous reading and wonderful stories.

Wishing you all a great week ahead,

All the best

Yvonne xx

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

My Week In Books ( two week update) w/e 12th Sept) #booklove #bookupdates #MeAndMyBooks

A double update this week for the books that I have read. I don’t seem to have had as much time for reading as I normally do. I have also noticed my concentration levels have taken a bit of a dip, I think this is due to feeling more tired recently. But, I am still reading so I am not too bothered ๐Ÿ™‚

w/e Sunday 5th September…

Three Words For Goodbye by Hazel Gaynor & Heather Webb was a stunning read. You can read my full review HERE.

I read Lethal Ties by Helen Christmas for the Blog Tour, a addictive and powerful story. Full review HERE.

Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian was a mystery with a great psychological edge to it. A great read and my full review is HERE.

w/e Sunday 12th September…

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Armchair Explorer by Lonely Planet

My Review…

his is a fabulous book that will appeal to lovers of music, film and literature. This book is broken down into continents, and then each country is listed alphabetically.

This book is brilliant for me. As a book reader, I often look for books from around the world. Listing 5 bokos from the classics to more modern titles gives me a good introduction to the literature of each country. Along with this I can then explore further and look for films and also check out the playlists for music.

There is also a photo for each country, not necessarily a photo of a capital city or a scenic view either. There are a few countries that do have an “In-Depth” page, where there is a little more information about a person or group that has been influential in some way.

This is a great book for either flicking through or sitting and reading through. It is a very well laid out reference book that is also very interesting.

I do think this is a really good book and the hardback version is really nice. It is a book I would definitely recommend.ย 

The Lion and The Unicorn by Tom Ward is a story set in the 2054 in England. A dystopian mystery that I really enjoyed. This is a mix of political big brother style themes, undercover, police procedural and murder. Full review tomorrow as part of the Blog Tour.

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I have only just finished reading the Seamstress of Warsaw by Rebecca Mascull and it is a fabulous story. This is the story of two people who seemingly have nothing in common, WWII has revealed a connection. This connection will lead a young man on a dangerous journey. The other other person is trying to survive amidst the the persecution. This is a strong story that I absolutely adored. Full review next week as part of the blog tour .

There we are, all done.

Have a wonderful week ahead,

All the best

Yvonne xx

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing ๐Ÿ™‚ xx