Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Top Ten Tuesday - Best Books To Read For Halloween

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme by The Broke and the Bookish and each week there's a different topic. As always, even if you can't think of 10, do as many as you can. This weeks topic is either scariest looking book covers or best books to read for Halloween and my answers are for the latter:

Some of these I have read and others are either on my TBR or wishlist:


The Shining The Woman In Black (Vintage Classic) The Haunting of Hill House Heart-Shaped Box
The Shining by Stephen King
I could have chosen all ten books by him but I've decided to stick to one by each author. This well known book about Danny and his parents in the Overlook hotel is perfect for this time of year.
The Woman In Black by Susan Hill 
A gothic ghost story, I found this more eerie than scary.

The Haunting Of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
Three people are invited to stay in a haunted house by Dr Montague. I didn't find this as scary as I thought I would, it's a classic though and still worth reading.

Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill 
Judas Coyne has a collection of macabre items so when told of a ghost for sale he has to buy it. What arrives is a heart shaped box, it contains a dead man's suit and also his spirit which is out for revenge.  

The House Next Door  The Ghost Hunters Dark Matter Last Days

The House Next Door by Anne Rivers Siddons
A new home is built next door to the Kennedy's and their peaceful happy life is soon upset by strange accidents and happenings. Inhabitants of the house are driven to madness and worse, could it be haunted?

The Ghost Hunters by Neil Spring
I always found the story of Borley Rectory terrifying when I was younger so I'm looking forward to reading this. It's a fictional account of ghost hunter Harry Price, his assistant Sarah Grey and what happens when they're invited to Borley to investigate.

Dark Matter by Michelle Paver
It's 1937 and Jack is offered the chance to be a wireless operator on an Arctic expedition, but something is out there on the ice and it's becoming more physical as the days get darker.

Last Days by Adam Nevill
Filmmaker Kyle Freeman is making a documentary about a notorious cult, The Temple Of Last Days, who met their bloody end in 1975. When he interviews some survivors the production is plagued by a series of unexplained phenomena.

Naomi's Room  The Survivor

Naomi's Room by Jonathan Aycliffe
Not the nicest subject matter but I've heard it's good. On Christmas Eve, four year old Naomi Hillenbrand disappears from her fathers side in a busy toy shop. Her murdered body is discovered on Christmas Day in a field, but something of Naomi still remains in this world. Ghostly photographs show her playing with two other girls in Victorian clothes while a sinister man in black watches.

The Survivor by James Herbert
I read a lot of this authors books when I was a teenager. In this one Keller is the only survivor of a plane crash which has killed over 300, the town have buried the dead and are trying to forget. But Keller wants to know what unseen forces have allowed him to live, and why.  

   

 



Monday, 28 October 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (28th October)

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Its Monday! What Are You Reading is a weekly meme run by Book Journey and you can mention books you've just finished, are currently reading and any you plan to read this week. You can leave a link to your blog and read other bloggers posts.

 

I've read two good books this week:  

            

The House Next DoorThe Thing About December  by Donal Ryan
The House Next Door  by Anne Rivers Siddons


 








I'm currently reading:

 

Home Front GirlsHome Front Girls by Rosie Goodwin   


Saturday, 26 October 2013

The House Next Door by Anne Rivers Siddons

The House Next Door

Colquitt and Walter Kennedy are loving life in their peaceful Atlanta home, that is until a house is built on the empty plot next door. At first Colquitt is mildly annoyed that she'll now have to either stop wandering around her house naked or put curtains up and it isn't long until she has more serious concerns. A young couple move into their newly built dream home, but soon their happiness is shattered by strange occurrences and a terrible tragedy befalls them. The house is bought by another married couple and when things start happening to them Colquitt starts to think this is more than just a coincidence; could the house really be haunted?

 

The story is told through Colquitt's eyes and she tells us what happens to the three families who live in the house next door to her as well as some of the neighbours in the street.  I saw it mentioned on a list of underrated horror books and thought it sounded like just my kind of book; it is. Stephen King has also apparently mentioned it in Danse Macabre as a must read. Some of the reviews I've seen have given this novel a low mark due to the horrible things that happen; perhaps they were misled by the seemingly pleasant looking cover, or used to the authors other novels as this is her only horror book. A shame because I thoroughly enjoyed it; her easy writing style made it difficult for me to put it down as well as the tension that gradually built throughout the story. 


Rating: 4 out of 5



Friday, 25 October 2013

Book Blogger Hop (25th-31st October)


The Book Blogger Hop is hosted at Ramblings Of A Coffee Addicted Writer and this week's question is:

 

 Halloween Edition: What Is Your Favourite Horror Novel And Why?

 

Pet Sematary

Mine has to be Pet Sematary by Stephen King. I've read it twice, once as a teenager and again a few years ago, it doesn't rely on blood and gore to scare. Not only is it a horror novel in the traditional sense but also contains emotional aspects that you can realistically relate to. There are two parts of the story in particular involving Gage and Louis Creed that I find heartbreaking, those of you who've read it will probably know what I mean.

 

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

The Thing About December by Donal Ryan

Johnsey Cunliffe is a 24 year old socially inept loner who lives at home and is often thought of as a "retard" or "fat eejit". Still grieving for his father when his mother passes away, he's left alone on the family farm with no real idea of what to do or how to cope in the world, his only friends are an elderly couple from the town who knew his parents. Walking home from his job at the Co-op he's often shouted at and pushed around by Eugene Penrose who has bullied him since he was a boy. When Johnsey ends up in hospital he meets fellow patient Mumbly Dave and nurse Siobhan and he continues to see them once he is home.

There's a sense throughout the book that things aren't going to end well for Johnsey and I just wanted to be able to help him, parts of the story are quite upsetting although there are also funny moments. The story is told in the third person and each chapter is a month from a year in the main characters life, we also learn lots about his childhood and things that have happened to him before. It's set during the Celtic Tiger boom years in Ireland when there was rapid economic growth, certainly people's perceptions of Johnsey and the farm are affected because of this.

Donal Ryan's debut novel The Spinning Heart is one of my favourite books of the year so The Thing About December had a lot to live up to. It didn't let me down, the author is a wonderful writer who has managed to fit so much into two relatively short books and is now someone whose new novels I will eagerly await.

I received a copy of this from Netgalley in return for a review

Rating: 5 out of 5


Monday, 21 October 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (21st October)

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Its Monday! What Are You Reading is a weekly meme run by Book Journey and you can mention books you've just finished, are currently reading and any you plan to read this week. You can leave a link to your blog and read other bloggers posts.

 

This week I've read:

 

Precious Thing by Colette McBeth

Lost In A Good Book by Jasper Fforde 

 Precious Thing Lost in a Good Book (Thursday Next, #2)




I'm currently reading:

 

The Thing About December by Donal Ryan, I loved his debut novel The Spinning Heart and was very pleased to get an ARC from Netgalley of this one as well.









The House Next DoorMy next read:


Plenty of books to choose from but will probably be The House Next Door by Anne Rivers Siddons 






  

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Shine On Award

 I am delighted to have been nominated for a Shine On Award by Jane at Booketta's Book Blog  

Thank you Jane

 

Here are the rules for this award:
1. Visit and thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Acknowledge that blogger on your blog, and link back.
3. Share seven random, interesting things about yourself.
4. Nominate up to 15 bloggers for the Shine On Award, provide a link to their blogs in your post, and notify them on their blogs.



My seven random facts are:

 

1. I got married in Las Vegas 14 years ago.
2. I've only been abroad twice, both times to the West Coast of America.
3. I currently have braces on my teeth.
4. I don't enjoy shopping for shoes or handbags.
5. My perfect Sunday afternoon is spent sitting on the sofa watching football on TV.
6. I have a cat called Ozzie who is secretly the boss of the house.
7. I once saw John Peel in the Bury St Edmunds branch of WH Smiths.

Here are my nominees:

 

Friday, 18 October 2013

Book Beginnings On Fridays (Lost In A Good Book)



Book Beginnings on Fridays is hosted by Rose City Reader and as she says the idea of this meme is for you to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author's name. There's a linky list on the website and you can use #BookBeginnings on Twitter.

 

My book beginning is Lost In A Good Book by Jasper Fforde

 

I didn't ask to be a celebrity. I never wanted to appear on The Adrian Lush Show. And let's get one thing straight right now - the world would have to be hurtling towards imminent destruction before I'd agree to anything as dopey as The Thursday Next Workout Video.

Lost in a Good Book (Thursday Next, #2)
  
This is the second book in the Thursday Next series, these novels are very different to anything I've read before and are great escapism.

Book Blurb:

The inventive, exuberant, and totally original literary fun that began with The Eyre Affair continues with Jasper Fforde's magnificent second adventure starring the resourceful, fearless literary sleuth Thursday Next. When Landen, the love of her life, is eradicated by the corrupt multinational Goliath Corporation, Thursday must moonlight as a Prose Resource Operative of Jurisfiction'the police force inside books. She is apprenticed to the man-hating Miss Havisham from Dickens's Great Expectations, who grudgingly shows Thursday the ropes. And she gains just enough skill to get herself in a real mess entering the pages of Poe's The Raven. What she really wants is to get Landen back. But this latest mission is not without further complications. Along with jumping into the works of Kafka and Austen, and even Beatrix Potter's The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies, Thursday finds herself the target of a series of potentially lethal coincidences, the authenticator of a newly discovered play by the Bard himself, and the only one who can prevent an unidentifiable pink sludge from engulfing all life on Earth


 

 

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Waiting On Wednesday (16th October)

 
 

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we can't wait to be published.

 

 

 

 

 

This week mine is The Echo by James Smythe which is his sequel to The Explorer.

 

 


TWENTY YEARS following the disappearance of the infamous Ishiguro – the first manned spacecraft to travel deeper into space than ever before – humanity are setting their sights on the heavens once more.
Under the direction of two of the most brilliant minds science has ever seen – that of identical twin brothers Tomas and Mirakel Hyv√∂nen – this space craft has a bold mission: to study what is being called ‘the anomaly’ – a vast blackness of space into which the Ishiguro disappeared. Between them Tomas (on the ground, guiding the mission from the command centre) and Mira (on the ship, with the rest of the hand-picked crew) are leaving nothing to chance.
But soon these two scientists are to learn that there are some things in space beyond our understanding. As the anomaly begins to test the limits of Mira’s comprehension – and his sanity – will Tomas be able to save his brother from being lost in space too?

Publication date: 16th January 2014.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Precious Thing by Colette McBeth


Precious ThingRemember the person you sat next to on your first day at school? Still your best friend? Or disappeared from your life for good?
Some friendships fizzle out. Rachel and Clara promised theirs would last for ever. They met when Rachel was the new girl in class and Clara was the friend everyone wanted. Instantly, they fell under one another's spell and nothing would be the same again. Now in their late twenties Rachel has the TV career, the flat and the boyfriend, while Clara's life is spiralling further out of control. Yet despite everything, they remain inextricably bound. Then Clara vanishes. Is it abduction, suicide or something else altogether?
Imagine discovering something about your oldest friend that forces you to question everything you've shared together. The truth is always there. But only if you choose to see it.


The story starts in 2007 and Rachel, a TV news journalist, is covering the disappearance of a young woman in Brighton. The woman turns out to be her best friend Clara who she first met at school when they were teenagers, they were supposed to go out together on the night she went missing but Clara sent her a text to say she was ill. The story then moves between the present day and 1993 with details about their lives gradually being revealed.

Precious Thing is the author's debut novel and another psychological thriller with a female narrator, they are very popular now and more are being published all the time. It has all the twists, turns and revelations you would expect from the genre although I did guess some of them and felt a few of the clues were fairly obvious. It still kept me gripped all the way through and will appeal to readers who have enjoyed similar novels such as Gone Girl and Until You're Mine.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Monday, 14 October 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (14th October)

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Its Monday! What Are You Reading is a weekly meme run by Book Journey and you can mention books you've just finished, are currently reading and any you plan to read this week. You can leave a link to your blog and read other bloggers posts.

 

 

 




The Troop This week I've read:

 

The Troop by Nick Cutter, it's a horror novel due for publication in January 2014 and my review is here

 







Precious Thing I'm currently reading:

 

Precious Thing by Colette McBeth, I'm really enjoying this psychological thriller.
Imagine discovering something about your oldest friend that forces you to question everything you've shared together. The truth is always there. But only if you choose to see it.





Lost in a Good Book (Thursday Next, #2)

My next read will probably be:

 

Lost In A Good Book by Jasper Fforde, the 2nd novel in the Thursday Next series.



Friday, 11 October 2013

The Troop by Nick Cutter

 The Troop

A group of teenage boy scouts and their scoutmaster are on the small, uninhabited Falstaff Island when a stranger arrives at the camp; he is dangerously thin and collapses. Scoutmaster Tim, who is also a doctor tries to help him, but he has never seen anything like this. The man is being eaten from the inside out by worms and it isn't long until one of the party is also infected by this bioengineered experiment that has gone hideously wrong.
Anyone who becomes infected feels very, very hungry but no matter what or how much they eat (and they'll eat anything) the hunger doesn't dissipate and they lose weight extremely quickly before dying.
The scouts are all different types of character and from varied walks of life on the Prince Edward Island and this works well with how they deal with this terrifying event. The parts of the book interspersed throughout the story which are set on the mainland slightly in the future are a good idea and helped me to build a bigger picture as to what happened and why.
I enjoyed this horror novel but it isn't for the squeamish as it is gruesome in parts.

I received a copy of this from Netgalley in return for an honest review.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Publication date: 14th January 2014


Book Blurb:

  Lord of the Flies meets The Ruins in this frightening novel written in the bestselling traditions of Stephen King and Scott Smith.

Boy Scouts live by the motto “Be Prepared.” However, nothing can prepare this group of young boys and their scoutmaster for what they encounter on a small, deserted island, as they settle down for a weekend of campfires, merit badges, and survival lessons.

Everything changes when a haggard stranger in tattered clothing appears out of nowhere and collapses on the campers’ doorstep. Before the night is through, this stranger will end up infecting one of the troop’s own with a bioengineered horror that’s straight out of their worst nightmares. Now stranded on the island with no communication to the outside world, the troop learns to battle much more than the elements, as they are pitted against something nature never intended…and eventually each other.
  




Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Waiting On Wednesday (9th October)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we can't wait to be published.

 

This week mine is The Killer Next Door by Alex Marwood

 

I read and enjoyed her debut novel The Wicked Girls and my review for that is here.



No. 23 has a secret. In this gloomy, bedsit-riddled South London wreck, lorded over by a lecherous landlord, a horrifying collection quietly waits to be discovered. Yet all six residents have something to hide. Collette is on the run from her ex-boss; Cher is an underage children's home escapee; lonely Dougal tries to make friends with his neighbours; while a gorgeous Iranian asylum seeker and a 'quiet man' nobody sees try to keep themselves hidden. And there for them all is Vesta, a woman who knows everything that goes on in the house - or thought she did. Then in the dead of night, a terrible accident pushes the six into an uneasy alliance. But one of them is a killer, expertly hiding their pastime, all the while closing in on their next victim...As a cloying heatwave suffocates the city, events build to an electrifying climax in this brilliantly constructed, tightly paced thriller. 

Publication date: 5th December 2013 - Kindle eBook/ 19th June 2014 - paperback
                                 

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Teaser Tuesdays (8th October)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!



The TroopMy teaser:

"Well, how sick is he?" 
Tim found it difficult to meet their searching eyes - fact was, he had no earthly idea. 

8% The Troop by Nick Cutter

Monday, 7 October 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (7th October)

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Its Monday! What Are You Reading is a weekly meme run by Book Journey and you can mention books you've just finished, are currently reading and any you plan to read this week. You can leave a link to your blog and read other bloggers posts.

 

 

This week I've read:

 

The Homecoming Of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield
The Cry by Helen Fitzgerald - I loved this one, a very good psychological thriller that I read in a couple of days.

The Homecoming of Samuel Lake   The Cry

I'm not sure at the moment what I'm going to read next, will have a think and start one tomorrow.

 


Saturday, 5 October 2013

My Book Bargains For This Week

I've managed to get some good book bargains this week, the 2nd, 3rd and 4th novels in the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde were in The Works and in their 3 for £5 offer:


Lost in a Good Book (Thursday Next, #2) The Well of Lost Plots (Thursday Next, #3) Something Rotten (Thursday Next, #4)

Also two from my wishlist were in the kindle daily deal, Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler and The Secret Life Of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd:

 

Calling Me Home The Secret Life of Bees


Friday, 4 October 2013

Book Beginnings On Fridays (The Homecoming Of Samuel Lake)



Book Beginnings on Fridays is hosted by Rose City Reader and as she says the idea of this meme is for you to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author's name. There's a linky list on the website and you can use #BookBeginnings on Twitter.

 

My book beginning is The Homecoming Of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield:

John Moses couldn't have chosen a worse day, or a worse way to die. If he'd planned it for a lifetime. Which was possible. He was contrary as a mule. It was the weekend of the Moses family reunion, and everything was perfect - or at least perfectly normal - until John went and ruined it.

 The Homecoming of Samuel Lake 

Book Blurb:

Every first Sunday in June, members of the Moses clan gather for an annual reunion at “the old home place,” a sprawling hundred-acre farm in Arkansas. And every year, Samuel Lake, a vibrant and committed young preacher, brings his beloved wife, Willadee Moses, and their three children back for the festivities. The children embrace the reunion as a welcome escape from the prying eyes of their father’s congregation; for Willadee it’s a precious opportunity to spend time with her mother and father, Calla and John. But just as the reunion is getting under way, tragedy strikes, jolting the family to their core: John’s untimely death and, soon after, the loss of Samuel’s parish, which set the stage for a summer of crisis and profound change.

In the midst of it all, Samuel and Willadee’s outspoken eleven-year-old daughter, Swan, is a bright light. Her high spirits and fearlessness have alternately seduced and bedeviled three generations of the family. But it is Blade Ballenger, a traumatized eight-year-old neighbor, who soon captures Swan’s undivided attention. Full of righteous anger, and innocent of the peril facing her and those she loves, Swan makes it her mission to keep the boy safe from his terrifying father.
 
  

 


Book Blogger Hop (4th - 10th October)

 

The Book Blogger Hop is hosted at Ramblings Of A Coffee Addicted Writer and this week's question is:

 

  Halloween Edition: What book gave you goosebumps?

 

 

Although I like horror novels it takes a lot to scare me nowadays. However when I was a teenager anything by Stephen King or James Herbert terrified me and gave me goosebumps and a lot of King's books still do, particularly Pet Sematary.