Saturday, 21 February 2015

Stacking the Shelves (Feb 21)

Stacking the Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves, physical or virtual, and sharing our excitement about our new titles. And why not, maybe also finding a great new read in the process! This weekly meme is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

So, I had promised myself I would try to hold off from buying books for a while because of my massive TBR and definite lack of shelf space... Yeah, right, like I could actually keep that promise. I visited my local book outlet, and there were so many titles just waiting to be brought into a loving home! And they were on discount! I just couldn't resist... 

Friday, 20 February 2015

Book Review: Chocolat by Joanne Harris

Publisher: Garzanti

Published: 9 October 1998

Pages: 338

Challenges: Library Challenge; Around the World Challenge; Women's Challenge

Rating: 3/5


Summary (from Goodreads)

When an exotic stranger, Vianne Rocher, arrives in the French village of Lansquenet and opens a chocolate boutique directly opposite the church, Father Reynaud denounces her as a serious danger to his flock - especially as it is the beginning of Lent, the traditional season of self-denial. War is declared as the priest denounces the newcomer's wares as the ultimate sin. Suddenly, Vianne's shop-cum-café means that there is somewhere for secrets to be whispered, grievances to be aired, and dreams to be tested.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

ARC Book Review: A Murder of Magpies by Judith Flanders

I received an e-arc of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Publisher: Minotaur Books

Publication Date: 24 February 2015

Pages: 288

Challenges: Around the World Challenge; Women's Challenge

Rating: 3/5



It's just another day at the office for London book editor Samantha "Sam" Clair. Checking jacket copy for howlers, wondering how to break it to her star novelist that her latest effort is utterly unpublishable, lunch scheduled with gossipy author Kit Lowell, whose new book will dish the juicy dirt on a recent fashion industry scandal. Little does she know the trouble Kit's book will cause - before it even goes to print. When Police Inspector Field turns up at the venerable offices of Timmins & Ross, asking questions about a package addressed to Sam, she knows something is wrong. Now, Sam's nine-to-five life is turned upside down as she finds herself propelled into a criminal investigation. Someone doesn't want Kit's manuscript published, and unless Sam can put the pieces together in time, they'll do anything to stop it.
With this deliciously funny debut novel, acclaimed author Judith Flanders introduces readers to an enormously enjoyable, too-clever-for-her-own-good new amateur sleuth, as well as Sam's Goth assistant, her effortlessly glamorous mother, and the handsome Inspector Field.

Monday, 9 February 2015

ARC Review: The Small Fortune of Dorothea Q by Sharon Maas

I received an e-arc of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Publisher: Bookouture

Published: 30 January 2015

Pages: 532

Challenges: Around the World Challenge; Women's Challenge

Rating: 4/5



An epic, mesmerizing tale of tragic loss, the strength of words left unspoken, and the redeeming power of love.

When she ran away from her childhood home in Guyana, Rika swore that she would never return. Cut off from her family, she has fought hard to make a life for herself and her daughter, Inky, in London. Now, over thirty tears later, Rika's catankerous, wheelchair-bound mother, Dorothea, arrives in London. But as old wounds re-open, Dorothea and Rika are further apart than ever. Inky soon learns that her grandmother is sitting on a small fortune. As she uncovers the secrets of the past one by one, she unravels the tragedy that tore her mother and grandmother apart. But nothing can prepare her, or Rika, for Dorothea's final, unexpected revelation.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Book Review: Radiance of Tomorrow by Ishmael Beah

Publisher: Neri Pozza

Published: 8 May 2014

Pages: 272

Challenges: Library Challenge; Around the World Challenge

Rating: 5/5



At the centre of Radiance of Tomorrow are Benjamin and Bockarie, two friends who return to their hometown after the civil war in Sierra Leone. The village is in ruins, the ground covered in bones. As more villagers begin to come back, Benjamin and Bockarie try to forge a new community by taking up their former posts as teachers, but they're beset by obstacles. As Benjamin and Bockarie search for a way to restore order, they're forced to reckon with the uncertainty of their past and future alike. With the gentle lyricism of a dream and the moral clarity of a fable, Radiance of Tomorrow is a powerful novel about preserving what means the most to us, even in uncertain times.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

ARC Review: The Family Girl by Katherine Brankin

I received an e-arc of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Publisher: Vook Inc.

Published: 9 October 2014

Pages: 222

Challenges: Around the World Challenge; Women's Challenge

Rating: 3/5



Ice-cold assassin Catalina Bennett wants a Faberge egg. A CIA funded venture-capital investment firm wants to get the mysterious product they’ve been funding. Mother, Catalina’s handler, wants her dead. CIA operative Jim Campbell wants to catch her. And all her father Frank, a retired assassin, wants is for his daughter not to shoot his neighbors. 

The Family Girl introduces Catalina Bennett as one of the deadliest and most effective assassins in the world, bred to kill by a quiet and secluded Sicilian Famiglia. Her success is illustrated by an extensive collection of art and Christian Louboutin shoes. Her latest job seemed like an easy way to procure a fabulous Faberge egg for her extensive collection, but Catalina ended up opening Pandora’s Box when she learned that the mark was an asset for ICtech, a venture-capital investment firm funded by the CIA. Soon she is on the run, being hunted by the veteran intelligence agent, Jim Campbell. 

She takes refuge with her father in the suburbs of Chicago, and discovers that dealing with the neighbors can be just as dangerous as dodging bullets. Using her network of connections, spearheaded by the imposing Eddie Washington – her childhood friend turned arms dealer – Catalina begins putting together the pieces of the puzzle. Her journey takes her from Chicago to New York, Washington D.C., and finally Miami, where she aims to settle all her affairs… or go out with a bang.