Some recent additions…

It’s been a while since I posted about any new additions to my TBR, so I thought I’d share with you some recently acquired books which I discovered in a second-hand bookshop this morning:

The Sussex Downs Murder by John Bude – I love the British Library Crime Classics series, although I haven’t read many of them. This will be the first one I’ve read by John Bude.

Busman’s Honeymoon by Dorothy L Sayers – A Lord Peter Wimsey mystery that I haven’t read yet.

Farewell the Tranquil Mind by RF Delderfield – I loved my first Delderfield novel, Long Summer Day, so I was pleased to come across another of his books. This one is set during the French Revolution.

The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl – I’m not sure about this one as I had mixed feelings about the other Matthew Pearl book I’ve read (The Last Dickens), but I thought it would be worth giving it a try.

The Persian Boy by Mary Renault – The second in her Alexander the Great trilogy. I already have the first book on my shelf but haven’t read it yet.


Have you read any of these? What did you think of them?

Top Ten Tuesday: Newly acquired books

This is only the second time I’ve taken part in Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish). I enjoy reading other people’s weekly lists but never seem to have time to put my own together. When I saw that this week’s topic was The Last Ten Books That Came Into My Possession I thought it might be an easy one to join in with as I’ve acquired quite a lot of new books recently!

Top Ten Tuesday - 14 July 2015

From the library:

1. Dacre’s War by Rosemary Goring – This is the sequel to After Flodden which I read last year. It’s been getting good reviews and I’m looking forward to reading it.

Review copies:

2. Kit by Marina Fiorato – I received this from Bookbridgr for a blog tour. I’ve previously enjoyed two other books by this author and can’t wait to start this one.

3. The Storm Sister by Lucinda Riley – The second book in Lucinda Riley’s Seven Sisters series. I loved the first one and am hoping this one will be just as good.

4. 1066: What Fates Impose by G.K. Holloway – I was offered a copy of this book by the author and as this is a period of history I’m very interested in at the moment I was pleased to accept.

Bought second-hand:

5. Daughter of Siena by Marina Fiorato – The day after I received the copy of Kit I found another of Marina Fiorato’s novels in the second-hand bookshop.

6. Queen of Silks by Vanora Bennett – I’ve read one of Vanora Bennett’s other books (Midnight in St Petersburg) and wasn’t sure if I really wanted to read any more of her work. This one is set during the Wars of the Roses, though, so when I saw a cheap copy on the shelf I couldn’t resist!

7. The Love Knot by Elizabeth Chadwick – I love Elizabeth Chadwick so I was pleased to find one of her books that I haven’t read yet.


8. The Odd Women by George Gissing – I downloaded a free copy to my Kindle as this is one of the books I’m planning to read for my Ten from the TBR project.

9. Imperium by Robert Harris – This is set in Ancient Rome which is a period I’ve been wanting to read more about. I have already read the first two chapters and am enjoying it so far.

10. Fortune Made His Sword by Martha Rofheart – I don’t know much about this historical novel from the 1970s, but it was free on Amazon last week so I thought it would be worth downloading.


Well, they are the last ten books that came into my possession! Have you read any of them? And have you acquired any interesting new books recently?

Seaton Delaval Hall (and more new books)

Another nice, sunny weekend (sadly now just a distant memory as the rain appears to be back again today) meant another visit to a National Trust property, this time Seaton Delaval Hall, a country house near the Northumberland coast. Only a small part of the Hall is open to the public as the central section is currently being restored – you can see the scaffolding in my first picture – but the gardens are beautiful.









I was excited to discover that there’s also a second-hand book shop at Seaton Delaval Hall. Just a tiny one with only a few shelves, but I managed to find two books I wanted to read:


I haven’t read anything by Helen Hollick but have often thought that she sounded like an author I might enjoy and after recently reading my first Jane Aiken Hodge book, Watch the Wall, My Darling, I’ve been looking out for more of her work too.

How was your weekend?

New book arrivals

I’ve acquired some new books recently and thought I would share them here with you:

New books May 2014

The first three books were bought last week on a trip to my favourite book shop, Barter Books:

The Heaven Tree by Edith Pargeter – I’ve wanted to read this for years and was so pleased to find a copy. It’s the first in a trilogy and set during the reign of King John.

The Last Light of the Sun by Guy Gavriel Kay – I’m looking forward to reading this as I enjoyed the other two Guy Gavriel Kay books I’ve read.

Bellarion by Rafael Sabatini – I don’t know anything about this book but I love Sabatini so of course I had to pick this one up!

The next book is a review copy received from Random House:

The Second Duchess by Elizabeth Loupas – The story of Barbara of Austria and her marriage to the Duke of Ferrara. I can’t wait to read this.

I won the final two books in Goodreads giveaways.

The Shining by Stephen King – I’ve read this before, as a teenager, and thought it might be fun to read it again. I didn’t really expect to win it!

The Walls of Byzantium by James Heneage – The first of a new series, The Mistra Chronicles, set in the final decades of the Byzantine Empire.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?

After the Sunday Papers #11

“She had read novels while other people perused the Sunday papers”
~ Mary Elizabeth Braddon, The Doctor’s Wife


Time for one of my (very) occasional Sunday posts, I think!

War and Peace Readalong – May update

I’ll start with some brief thoughts on May’s reading for the War and Peace Readalong I’m participating in this year. In May, we read Book 2, Parts 3 and 4. I’m finding the book much easier to read now that we’re further into it and have had the opportunity to get to know the characters. However, I’ve also found that for some reason I have very little to say about this section of the book. I was pleased that there was no ‘war’ – though instead, we get a very long and detailed description of a hunt, which made me think I might actually have preferred a battle scene after all! It was good to spend more time with some of the female characters, especially Natasha and Sonya, whose storylines are starting to move forward now. And I still feel sorry for poor Princess Marya. I’m looking forward to reading Part 5 in June – and being halfway through the book!

Barbara Pym Reading Week

Barbara Pym Reading Week

Are you taking part in Barbara Pym Reading Week? I’ve never read anything by Pym before but so many of the bloggers I follow love her books that I knew it was time to try one. I’m reading Less Than Angels, which is maybe not the one I would ideally have chosen to begin with (I really wanted to read Excellent Women first) but it’s the only one I actually own. Anyway, I’m enjoying it so far and will post my thoughts on it later in the week.

New book arrivals

I haven’t bought any new books for a while, but I’ve received a few review copies. Paris is the one I’m most looking forward to reading as I love Edward Rutherfurd and have read all of his previous books. I don’t know much about the others (The Son by Michel Rostain, The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout and The Orchard of Lost Souls by Nadifa Mohamed) though I’ve read some very positive reviews of the first two.

I hope you’ve all had a good weekend! What are you planning to read this week?

After the Sunday Papers #10

“She had read novels while other people perused the Sunday papers”
~ Mary Elizabeth Braddon,
The Doctor’s Wife


I can’t believe it’s been nearly two years since my last After the Sunday Papers post! I had intended it to be a weekly feature, looking back on the previous week and forward to the week ahead, but obviously it didn’t work out like that. Today, not having any reviews ready to post and wanting to mention a few book-related events, I decided to revive my Sunday posts and hopefully can make them a more regular feature, if not a weekly one.

Giveaway Blog Hop success!

I was lucky enough to win two books in the recent Literary Giveaway Blog Hop and I received both of them this week. Thanks to Heavenali for the beautiful Penguin English Library edition of Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy and thanks to The Little Reader Library for The Long Song by Andrea Levy – both books I’ve been wanting to read for a long time.

Lymond is back

Annabel of Gaskella is hosting a readalong of The Game of Kings, the first of Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond Chronicles. As I’m currently immersed in Dunnett’s other series, The House of Niccolo, I won’t be officially taking part, but to anyone who has been thinking about reading the Lymond Chronicles this could be a good time to start. Annabel has even made a bookmark with the character list, which should be very useful!

Advent with Atwood

Following the success of last year’s Advent with Austen, this year Yvann, Alex, Iris and Ana will be co-hosting Advent with Atwood. The event includes a readalong of The Blind Assassin, but participants can read any book by Margaret Atwood during the month of December. I would like to join in as I’ve never read anything by Atwood before and she’s an author I’ve been meaning to read for years. I have no idea which of her books to start with, so any suggestions are welcome.

That’s all for now – hope you all have a good week!

August Reading Summary

Now that September’s here it’s time to look back at my August reading. I read eight books, which seems to have been about average for me this year.

I started the month with Seventy-Seven Clocks by Christopher Fowler. I’m slowly working through Fowler’s Bryant and May mysteries and this was the third in the series. My second book in August was In a Treacherous Court, a historical fiction novel by Michelle Diener which introduced me to two little-known characters of the Tudor period – Susanna Horenbout and John Parker. I enjoyed it, although it was a very light read. However, my desire for something deeper and more complex was satisfied by Race of Scorpions, the third book in Dorothy Dunnett’s House of Niccolo series. This was one of my two favourite books of the month – the other was The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy which I loved and wished I hadn’t waited so long to read!

I also re-read Emma by Jane Austen and was pleased to find that I enjoyed it much more than I did the first time I read it! And then I read The Dog Stars by Peter Heller, a post-apocalyptic novel – definitely not the type of book I usually choose to read, so it was an interesting experience! Finally, in the last week of August I decided to read two of the shorter books on my Classics Club list, The Princess of Cleves by Madame de Lafayette and The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope. As usual, I have not had time to post my thoughts on all of these books but will try to do so within the next few weeks.

New book arrivals

Here are the books I’ve acquired in August:

Scales of Gold by Dorothy Dunnett
The Autobiography of Mrs Tom Thumb by Melanie Benjamin
The Nightingale Girls by Donna Douglas
Jasmine Nights by Julia Gregson
The Conductor by Sarah Quigley
Archipelago by Monique Roffey
The Kingmaker’s Daughter by Philippa Gregory

I’m still trying not to buy any new books so most of the above are review copies, apart from Scales of Gold. Have you read any of them?

Did you have a good August? What are you hoping to read in September?