My month in books – September

What’s happened in September?

I met other bloggers IN REAL LIFE! Because that wasn’t intimidating at all…..

On September 12th I went to the Book Blogger Bonanza hosted by Waterstones in Birmingham. This was a bit of a blogger get-together but there was also a panel of book bloggers and vloggers which included Chelley Toy from Tales of Yesterday, Mariam from Hello I am Mariam, author Lauren James and chaired by vlogger Lee Farnell. It was an interesting discussion on blogging, techniques, schedules, allsorts really.

There were loads of book giveaways; seriously they were just giving away box after box of books, a raffle and an opportunity to mingle if you wished. It was great to meet and chat with Holly from Bookaholic Confessions and Dominique from Playing Parent.

It was predominantly YA focused and had I known I probably wouldn’t have gone but it was still a very enjoyable evening nonetheless. It would be great if Waterstones would host a similar event but with a variety of genres.

My bookish swag

My bookish swag

Books read: 6

TenacityNormalChristmas at Lilac CottageThe Slaughter ManThe Readers of Broken Wheel RecommendThe Quality of Silence

 

 

 

Books added to the TBR:

1984The Moving Finger

Currently reading: The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

Favourite book for September: The Slaughter Man by Tony Parsons

What’s coming up in October?

  • My birthday and blog birthday
  • Cheltenham Literary Festival – seeing Carrie Hope Fletcher, Katharine Woodfine with Robin Stevens, Jojo Moyes & Sue Perkins

How was your September and what are you looking forward to in October?

Book Review: Normal by Graeme Cameron

NormalWhat’s it about?

He lives in your community, in a nice house with a well-tended garden. He shops in your grocery store, bumping shoulders with you as you pass him and apologizing with a smile. He drives beside you on the highway, politely waving to let you into the lane ahead of him.

What you don’t know is that he has an elaborate cage built into a secret basement under his garage. And the food that he’s carefully shopping for is to feed a young woman he’s holding there against her will–one in a string of many, unaware of the fate that awaits her.

This is how it’s been for a long time. It’s normal…and it works. Perfectly.

Then he meets the checkout girl from the 24-hour grocery. And now the plan, the hunts, the room…the others. He doesn’t need any of them anymore. He needs only her. One small problem–he still has someone trapped in his garage.

Discovering his humanity couldn’t have come at a worse time.

My thoughts

I’m not a prolific crime fiction reader although I enjoy a good legal or psychological thriller so I requested this from Netgalley as I thought I would enjoy it.

I liked the idea of the book being narrated by the serial killer and getting inside his head, but in all honesty the dark humour just made me feel uncomfortable rather than entertained. I felt some of the incidents were a little slapstick and tried to lighten the mood but it didn’t really work for me; I couldn’t get past someone’s suffering being funny.

I got a little lost with the Caroline / Annie / Karen plotline and confused at what really was going on here, whether it was present tense or past tense, so lost interest in bothering to understand that he had a ‘normal’ side as all he had done had overshadowed that. I was also never really convinced on how the police looked at him as a suspect either, and when Green comes face to face with Erica yet does nothing; did I misunderstand what I’d read? I also didn’t think the book really explains why he does what he does unless I missed something.

*Mild spoiler alert*
Towards the end of the novel I think Erica was displaying signs of Stockholm Syndrome which made me feel quite sorry for her. To think that she thought her life at home was worse than the situation she was in was incredibly sad.

Overall, it’s perfectly well written, there’s no obvious faux pas (other than its subject matter 🙂 ) it just wasn’t for me. I think this says more about me and my choice than the book itself though.

Many thanks to the publisher Mira Books for approving me for a copy via Netgalley.

Links: Goodreads | Amazon

Connect with the author Graeme Cameron

Website | Twitter

WWW Wednesday (September 9th)

This weekly meme is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open to all to participate. Why not join in and let us know what you’re reading this week…

WWW Wednesday

To join in, just answer the following three questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m currently reading…

NormalNormal by Graeme Cameron

My first read for the Netgalley Challenge has been on my TBR since earlier this year and is a change to my planned read. I also have a paperback of this so two birds, one stone and all that. I’d heard good things about it when it was released and whilst I can appreciate the dark humour, it makes me feel uncomfortable.

The blurb

He lives in your community, in a nice house with a well-tended garden. He shops in your grocery store, bumping shoulders with you as you pass him and apologizing with a smile. He drives beside you on the highway, politely waving to let you into the lane ahead of him.

What you don’t know is that he has an elaborate cage built into a secret basement under his garage. And the food that he’s carefully shopping for is to feed a young woman he’s holding there against her will–one in a string of many, unaware of the fate that awaits her.

This is how it’s been for a long time. It’s normal…and it works. Perfectly.

Then he meets the checkout girl from the 24-hour grocery. And now the plan, the hunts, the room…the others. He doesn’t need any of them anymore. He needs only her. One small problem–he still has someone trapped in his garage.

Discovering his humanity couldn’t have come at a worse time.

I recently finished reading…

TenacityTenacity by J.S. Law

I don’t tend to read much actual crime drama as such so this was a break from the norm for me and one which I enjoyed. I found the first half of the investigation to be a little slower paced but following a significant event aboard Tenacity I then raced through the remainder of the book. Would quite like to see this translated to the small screen in the same way ITV did with UK Law & Order.

The blurb

Suicide must be investigated.

Especially when a Royal Navy sailor kills himself on a nuclear submarine, only days after his wife’s brutal murder.

Now Lieutenant Danielle Lewis, the Navy’s finest Special Branch investigator, must interrogate the tight-knit, male crew of HMS Tenacity to determine if there’s a link.

Isolated, and standing alone in the face of extreme hostility, Dan soon realises that she may have to choose between the truth and her own survival.

Justice must be served, but with a possible killer on board the pressure is rising and her time is running out…

What’s up next?

Christmas at Lilac CottageChristmas at Lilac Cottage by Holly Martin

Ok, so it’ll be a little strange reading a Christmas novel in September but I’m taking part in Holly’s blog tour at the end of the month and prefer not to read at the last minute. This is also one of my Netgalley’s!

The blurb

Welcome to the charming seaside town of White Cliff Bay, where Christmas is magical and love is in the air…

Penny Meadows loves her home – a cosy cottage decorated with pretty twinkling fairy lights and stunning views over the town of White Cliff Bay. She also loves her job as an ice-carver, creating breathtaking sculptures. Yet her personal life seems frozen.

When Henry and daughter Daisy arrive at the cottage to rent the annex, Penny is determined to make them feel welcome. But while Daisy is friendly, Henry seems guarded.

As Penny gets to know Henry, she realises there is more to him than meets the eye. And the connection between them is too strong to ignore…

While the spirit of the season sprinkles its magic over the seaside town and preparations for the ice sculpting competition and Christmas eve ball are in full swing, can Penny melt the ice and allow love in her heart? And will this finally be the perfect Christmas she’s been dreaming of?

Do share what you’re reading this week in the comments below

My month in books – May

What’s happened in May?

May’s provided me with some disappointing and unfilling reads that have slowed my reading progress down. Currently my Goodreads challenge tells me I’m 3 books behind schedule however I’ve bought myself more books this month than I have done in a long time for no other reason than I could. I’m hoping this will spur me on!

I’ve signed up to #PaperbackSummer which is running June to August so hopefully I’ll be getting through a few of my paperbacks. I’ll be deciding what I’m reading by using my TBR jar – see post here for details Paperback Summer Here I Come.

Last week I visited Agatha Christie’s Devon holiday home Greenway which was lovely, there’ll be a blog post and photos to follow 🙂

Books read: 5

The Dead Wife's HandbookThe Red NotebookIn My HouseSolarDisclaimer

 

 

 

Books added to the TBR: 9

Gray MountainTell No LiesRunaway WifeFalling The Night Circus The Truth about the Harry Quebert AffairThe-Year-of-the-RatThe DishNormal

Currently reading: The Ship by Antonia Honeywell

Favourite book for May: The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain

What’s coming up in June?

  • Start of #PaperbackSummer

How was your May reading and what are you looking forward to in June?

My month in books – February

February for me has been mostly about getting through my backlog of Netgalley digital review books thanks to the challenge set by Sophie & Suze.

sasncI started the month at 64%, which is not that bad but I do try to limit the amount I request. However, I’m now at 62% as I just requested and was approved for another book and haven’t managed to write up my outstanding reviews yet. I really do need to crack on if I’m going to be make a positive dent and up my ratio.

On the plus side I’ve read 13/80 books for my Goodreads challenge which at the moment puts me on target. How’re you getting on with your reading challenges?

Books read: 5 (4 out of the 5 were Netgalley’s)

The Undertaker's DaughterSecond LifeThe MiniaturistEternally 21The-Book-of-Secrets

 

 

 

Books added to the TBR:

Eleanor & Park The Exit The Girl in the Red CoatNormal

Currently reading: The Book of Secrets by Elizabeth Joy Arnold

Favourite book for February: The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

How was your February reading and what are you looking forward to in March?